After lying low for several months in the face of strong presence of the Army, insurgents struck again in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh abducting six persons, including a village chief and two panchayat leaders, on July 26 night - a few days after withdrawal of the Punjab Regiment from the disturbed border district.
According to the Deputy Commissioner, Ankur Garg, the law and order situation in Tirap, declared disturbed along with Changlang under the Armed Forces Special Power Act, registered marked improvement after the Punjab Regiment battalion was deployed.
Tirap, which skipped the 2003 panchayat election in view of the activity of extremists from neighbouring states who use it and Changlang as transit corridor to their bases across Myanmer border, not only registered highest polling in the election, but also saw sharp decline in crimes like murder and extortions.
Garg said he had informed the chief secretary and the chief minister about the inadequacy of forces at the disposal of the district administration in maintaining law and order once the Punjab Regiment was moved out.
Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu has taken it up with the Centre to either retain the Punjab Regiment or send another Army battalion to replace them.
"We hope the replacement for the Army battalion will arrive soon," Garg said. "We are left with only one battalion of Assam Rifles and a few companies of CRPF in the district."
He said out of 49 children abducted by the insurgents from the district in January, 31 had returned. The rest are believed to be in the training camps of the insurgents across Myanmer border.
Out of the six abducted from Zedua in Tirap district, the village chief was released next day but the rest were believed to have been held captive.