2 Arunachal Scouts completes 10 years | Khandu lauds Army-civilian bonhomie in state

BOMDILA, Jun 01: Chief Minister Pema Khandu joined the 2 Arunachal Scouts in celebrating the battalion’s 10 years of service to the state and the country, here on Thursday.

The 2 Arunachal Scouts was raised on 1st June 2013 at Umroi Cantt under Col Neelesh Anand Pagulwar with the concept – Sons of Soil. The infantry battalion was inducted to the 4 Corps Zone on March 8, 2014 with its headquarters at Bomdila in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.

Congratulating the battalion on completion of a decade of service to the nation, Khandu hailed it as flag bearers of Arunachal Pradesh in the Indian Army.

“Arunachal Scouts is very close to our hearts as the battalion name itself raises the feeling of oneness. This is our battalion. This is Arunachal’s battalion!” he noted.

He remembered his late father Dorjee Khandu, who as the then chief minister of the state had passionately pursued with the central government to raise a unit in the Indian Army, specifically for Arunachal Pradesh in the line of Ladakh Scouts and the Kumaon Scouts.

“When the 1 Arunachal Scouts battalion was raised in 2010, my father had proudly attended the raising ceremony at Shillong. His dream for facilitating the youths of North East, particularly Arunachal Pradesh, to join the Indian Army in large numbers was fulfilled,” he said.

As a legislator of a constituency (Jang-Mukto) that sits on the border with Indo-Tibet (China) in Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh, Khandu said he has always had respect and confidence on the Indian Army.

“At least once a year, I make it a point to visit the border outposts of my constituency, especially the Mago-Chuna sector. Besides meeting the people there, I always take time out to spend some quality time with the jawans posted along the border,” he informed.

He said that the presence of youths of Arunachal Pradesh and other northeastern states donning Arunachal Scouts insignia made him swell with pride.

Khandu lauded the army units posted in Arunachal Pradesh for their bonding with the civilian population. He felt people of Arunachal Pradesh, who are born patriots, have immense respect for the Indian Army and thus bond with them well in every sphere.

“Here, no civilian program – be it a music festival, indigenous festival, health camp or any sporting event – is complete without participation of the Army. Likewise, no program of the Army is complete without participation of the civilians,” he remarked.

Informing about the Vibrant Village Program of the central government to transform all villages along the border, Khandu sought cooperation of the Indian Army and central armed paramilitary forces (CAPF) in its successful implementation.

“The Indian Army and CAPFs like ITBP, SSB and Assam Rifles, are posted all along the border. Their cooperation will be of utmost importance in implementing the ambitious VVP of the central government,” he pointed.

For convenience of the troops posted in high terrains, Khandu assured that all efforts are being made to ensure connectivity in both road and telecommunication sectors. While roads are reaching all remote outposts, he informed, more than thousand 4G towers being installed all along the border.

“We are also constructing about 50 small hydropower projects in the outposts under the border village illumination program. Several are already functioning and providing power to the nearby villages as well as Army units posted there,” he said.

Khandu informed that the state government is pursuing with the central government to strengthen the Arunachal Scouts with more companies besides raising an ITBP unit specifically for Arunachal Pradesh.

He requested the Army and CAPF units posted in the state to provide training to local unemployed youths in preparation for recruitment drives conducted every now and then including those under the Agniveer program.

The celebration was attended by West Kameng MLAs, Phurpa Tsering, Kumsi Sidisow, Dorjee Wangdi Kharma and Dongru Siongju, GOC 5 Mountain Division Maj Gen Ajay Kumar Singh, Commander, 311 Brigade, Brig Nikhil Deshpande, Deputy commander, 311 Brigade, Col Anil Kumar, Commander, 2nd Arunachal Scouts, Col Bhaskar Pandey, Deputy Commander, 77 Brigade, Col RKN Maney, Deputy Commissioners of West Kameng and Tawang among others.

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