Former Arunachal CM found dead, supporters hold protests

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Former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister and Congress rebel Kalikho Pul, who stepped down from the top post last month after the Supreme Court ordered removal of his government, allegedly committed suicide on Tuesday.

As soon as the news of Pul’s death spread, scores of his supporters gheraoed Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s bungalow in Niti Bihar area and demanded a probe into Pul’s “unnatural” death.

Hindustan Times.com
Hindustan Times.com

They also set on fire an under-construction building of the Deputy chief minister and damaged two official bungalows. A top police officer said that 47-year-old Pul allegedly hanged himself from the ceiling fan in his bedroom.

One of his wives found him hanging at the Chief Minister’s official residence which he was yet to vacate. According to the doctors, the death occurred between 7 and 7:30 AM. Pul, who is survived by three wives and four children, had not met any outsider for the past seven days, according to his family.

Pul briefly served as the chief minister from February 19 replacing Nabam Tuki and remained in the post till July this year. Soon after the news of his death, Pul’s supporters gheraoed Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s bungalow area.

They said they would not allow Pul’s body to be taken out from his bungalow at E S S sector and demanded that he be buried inside the premises.

A coffin, which was brought from outside, was damaged and set on fire by the crowd before the assembled media.

A section of the supporters headed towards the official residence of Deputy CM Chowna Mein, less than 100 metres away, damaged the outer wall and at least 10 vehicles parked in the premises. An under-construction premises of the Deputy CM was also set on fire, police said, adding there were no casualties Protestors also damaged the official bungalow of Industries Minister Tapang Taloh.

A high-level cabinet meeting was on and police reinforcements, including state police and ITBP, were sent to the high-security VVIP zone where the ministers’ residences were located. Pul’s body will be kept at his bungalow to enable the public to pay respects, official sources said.

Pul had served as CM for a brief time with the Supreme Court last month reinstating Nabam Tuki who then made way for Pema Khandu who is presently the CM.

Pul had led a group of dissident MLAs from Congress against Tuki early this year and was sworn-in as Chief Minister a few hours after President’s Rule was revoked in the state on February 19.

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