Protests erupt after Kalikho Pul’s suspected suicide

RSTV Bureau
Kalikho Pul, New Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh.

File photo of Kalikho Pul

Former Arunachal Chief Minister and Congress rebel Kalikho Pul was found dead at his premises on Tuesday morning. He is suspected to have committed suicide. Just as the news of Pul’s death spread, his supporters went on a rampage in Itanagar, destroying government property and vehicles.

Pul allegedly hanged himself from the ceiling fan in his bedroom, a top police officer said.

He was found dead at the chief minister’s official residence in Itanagar, which he was yet to vacate.

Forty-seven year old Pul had stepped down from the chief minister’s post last month after the Supreme Court ordered the removal of his government.

Pul had rebelled to join the BJP and became the chief minister of the state for a brief while beginning February 19. While he was serving his tenure, the Supreme Court had found his government unconstitutional. For the first time the apex court had ordered the removal of a state government to reinstate the previous Congress government in the state.

After proving majority, the Congress legislature chose Pema Khandu as its chief minister last month.

Pul’s supporters gheraoed Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s bungalow and demanded probe into Pul’s “unnatural” death.

Scores supporters went on a rampage damaging government bungalows and vehicles.

As a result, after a high-level cabinet meeting additional police reinforcements, including state police and ITBP were sent to the high-security VVIP zones to protect the residences of ministers.

The police revealed that one of Pul’s three wives found him hanging in the morning. And according to the doctors, the death occurred between 7 and 7:30 am.

Pul’s family has revealed that he hadn’t met any outsider for the past one week. He is survived by three wives and four children

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then Congress CM Nabam Tuki early this year and was sworn-in as Chief Minister a few hours after President’s Rule was revoked in the state on February 19.

Several political leaders paid their condolences to Pul after the news was conformed.

“My thoughts are with the family & supporters of Kalikho Pul on his sad demise. His service to Arunachal Pradesh will be remembered,” PM Modi tweeted.

(With inputs from PTI)