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Former Arunachal CM Kalikho Pul found hanging, leaves note on his ‘thoughts’

Former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul was found hanging at the official chief minister’s residence in Itanagar on Tuesday.

india Updated: Aug 09, 2016 19:06 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
Kalikho Pul,Arunachal Ex-CM,Kalikho Pul suicide
Former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul was found hanging at his home in Itanagar on Tuesday, police said.(ANI)

Former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul was found hanging at the official chief minister’s residence in Itanagar on Tuesday.

“The body was found hanging around 9 am by a servant. He may have committed suicide on Monday night itself,” DGP Arunachal Pradesh S Nithianandam told Hindustan Times.

“A long note titled ‘My Vichar’ (my thoughts), which contains details on various subjects, was found in the room where the body was hanging. I won’t call it a suicide note,” Nithianandam said.

Preliminary investigation did not reveal any foul play. Police have taken possession of the body and sent it for post mortem.

The 47-year-old, who held the CM’s post for about five months, had left office last month after a Supreme Court ruling ordered removal of his government. But he hadn’t vacated his official residence.

Unconfirmed reports suggest Pul was extremely upset since the apex court’s order and had stopped communicating properly with others for the past few days.

“It is sad and really unfortunate that young leader Kalikho Pul is no more with us,” former CM Nabam Tuki told ANI. “A loss for entire Arunachal Pradesh. The Congress family is with his family in this moment of grief.”

Pul belonged to the Kaman Mishmi tribe and hailed from Walla village in eastern Arunachal Pradesh’s Anjaw district — among the most backward areas. He won his maiden assembly election from the Hayulliang seat in 1995. His portfolios included finance, power and health.

Read | Arunachal CM with BJP support, Kalikho Pul still ‘Congressman at heart’

“Some people had damaged some property inside the deputy chief minister’s house and also pelted stones at vehicles. Situation is under control now,” the police chief said.

Some supporters also burnt an empty coffin on the street, demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the death. Police and military personnel were deployed in the area to prevent the situation from escalating.

Police and military personnel were been deployed in the area to prevent the situation from getting out of control.

Arunachal Pradesh government has announced a three-day mourning and assured proper investigation into the death. His body will be taken to his ancestral village on Wednesday and given a state funeral.

“We are saddened and shocked by Pul’s death. I have directed the police to conduct investigations to ascertain the reasons leading to his death,” chief minister Pema Khandu told journalists in Itanagar.

Supporters of the deceased leader set ablaze a coffin in a symbolic protest against Pul’s death. (ANI)

Pul held the unique distinction of being the first Congress chief minister to be installed with support from arch rivals Bharatiya Janata Party.

Arunachal Pradesh had plunged into political crisis in November 2015 after 21 of the Congress’ 47 legislators rebelled against then chief minister Nabam Tuki. The Centre imposed President’s Rule on January 26, and Pul, the leader of the Congress dissidents’ faction, was sworn in as chief minister on February 19.

However, the Supreme Court restored the Congress government, scrapping all decisions by the governor that precipitated the fall of the previous administration and ended Pul’s tenure at the helm in the state.

Last month, Pema Khandu, son of former chief minister Dorjee Khandu, was elected chief minister in a dramatic turn of events after Pul and 30 other former rebel Congress MLAs returned to the party.

Pul, who had a bachelor in arts degree, was into social activism and associated with several educational institutes in Anjaw district before joining active politics. He had joined the Congress as a teenager in the 1980s.

He is survived by three wives and four children.

Read | Arunachal crisis timeline: Kalikho Pul’s expulsion to restoration of Cong govt

First Published: Aug 09, 2016 11:06 IST