GUWAHATI: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) urged the Centre to take steps to ensure the unharmed release of five youths in the custody of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) even as it asked the government not to forget 1962 when the frontier state was a major theatre of the war.
On Sunday, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju had confirmed that the five civilians from Arunachal’s Upper Subansiri district were in the PLA’s custody as he said the Indian Army had sent a hotline message to its Chinese counterpart.
The AAPSU, which is Arunachal’s apex students’ body, said it was not an isolated incident as the PLA had been indulging in similar antics where innocent civilians living along the inhospitable border were taken captive at regular intervals.
“The recurrence of such incidents simply reflects the failure of Central government as well as state government in protecting the lives and security of our people inhabiting the border areas,” the AAPSU said.
It lamented that the state was utterly neglected by respective governments in terms of accelerating development in border areas. The absence of all-weather roads and other infrastructure has its own sordid stories to tell. This absence is not only making the lives of locals living in border areas difficult but also that of defence personnel deployed along the LAC, the students’ union said.
It stressed the Centre must not look Arunachal only through the prism of security but take a more inclusive approach of development that is on a par with other states in the country.
“The misadventures of 1962 should also not be forgotten where our frontier state was a major theatre of war. We feel that with abysmal road infrastructure and other development, history may repeat lest those at Delhi and Itanagar are mindful of the emerging situation,” the AAPSU cautioned.