Sons of 2 BJP northeast leaders in trouble: 1 convicted for murder, two face similar charges
Sons of two BJP leaders, one of them from Arunachal Pradesh, are facing murder charges, six months after the son of the Manipur chief minister was jailed for killing a youth.india Updated: Jul 08, 2017 13:15 IST
Sons of powerful political leaders in the northeast are in the news. And all for the wrong reasons.
Less than six months after a local court sentenced Manipur chief minister Nongthombam Biren’s son Ajay to five years in prison for shooting a teenager, the sons of two Arunachal Pradesh MLAs – Tumke Bagra and Tapang Taloh – are facing similar charges.
In the northeast, the involvement of VIP sons in murder cases have been in states where the BJP is in power, as a single party or in coalition. However, across the country there are numerous instances of sons of political leaders, of different parties, involved in cases of alleged murder.
Bagra is the deputy speaker of the 60-member Arunachal Pradesh assembly and Taloh is a former minister. Bagra is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Aalo West assembly seat while Taloh represents the Pangin seat for the regional People’s Party of Arunachal.
On March 26, the deputy speaker’s son Kajum Bagra allegedly shot dead 40-year-old Congress member Kenjum Kamsi outside a hotel in West Siang district headquarters Aalo. The Bagra family owns the hotel.
Local police station officer-in-charge Minli Geyi said Kajum, 34, “appeared to have fired at Kamsi from close range after a brief argument”. Kajum has been in detention since.
The state Congress has sought Bagra senior’s resignation as deputy speaker on moral ground besides doubting the BJP government’s sincerity in punishing his son for the crime.
“It will not be right for me to speak when the case is on but I have not seen my accused son after the incident even once till now,” the deputy speaker told HT from Itanagar.
Three months later, on June 27, the police in Itanagar arrested MLA Taloh’s son Toki and an associate Yumli Padu for the mysterious death of one Papung Nayu in a city hotel on June 24. Yumli turned out to be the son of a bureaucrat – the state’s water resource department secretary Geyum Padu.
Toki had shared a room with 29-year-old Papung, whose body was found on the ground floor terrace of the hotel. Based on CCTV footage, police said Papung had an argument with Geyum in the hotel’s bar an hour before he died.
“My son is innocent and a victim of a frame-up. He was too tired that night after a 450km drive and had fallen asleep. He had gone there as the victim was short of money for purchasing a second-hand car,” Taloh said, insisting he has not tried to influence the investigators and that the truth will be out.
Two NGOs – the Galo Students’ Union and Pipu-Gwawepurang Social Organisation – have demanded justice for the victims of the “cold-blooded murder” of Kenjum and Papung.
In Manipur too, chief minister Biren denied influencing the case involving his son. But the lawyer representing the parents of Irom Roger, who Biren’s son was found guilty of shooting on the road six years ago, has alleged harassment from the state’s BJP-led government.
In Nagaland, the BJP’s dominant coalition partner Naga People’s Front (NPF) is also facing charges of nepotism after chief minister Shurhozelie Leizietsu made his son Khriehu Liezietsu his advisor with cabinet minister status and pay.
The NPF justified the appointment, saying Khriehu deserved it for his “supreme sacrifice” of resigning from his Northern Angami-1 assembly seat to help his father become the chief minister after TR Zeliang was forced to step down. The by-election to the seat is on July 29.
“The term supreme sacrifice has become the façade for all illegal activities of the NPF. There can be no greater case of nepotism than Shurhozelie appointing his un-mandated son who quit as legislator,” the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee said.