Politics

Arunachal Cabinet Asks Centre To Probe Corruption Allegations By Kalikho Pul

The state government, however, termed the allegations of corruption against senior leaders and politicians made by the former chief minister in his suicide note as “totally baseless, false and without any evidence.”

Former chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh Kalikho Pul. Credit: PTI

Former chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh Kalikho Pul. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: The Arunachal Pradesh government has decided to forward the allegations of corruption made against a range of senior political, government and judicial functionaries by the former chief minister Kalikho Pul in his suicide note titled ‘Mere Vichar’ to the union home ministry for further investigation by an agency it deems fit.

In a meeting chaired by chief minister Pema Khandu on the evening of February 18, the state cabinet took cognisance of The Wire report on February 8 and stated that “The news portal uploaded scanned copies of ‘Mere Vichar’ with certain names and certain portions blackened. The names of the senior leaders and politicians in general have been referred to [in the media] in the copy of ‘Mere Vichar’ downloaded from the news portal.”

Since Pul’s note – which was found by his first wife Dangwimsai Pul along with his body on August 9, 2017, in the chief minister’s bungalow – also mentioned certain other names “that are not in public domain as they have been blackened [in The Wire report].”

It “further resolved, without any prejudice to the matter being sub judice in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Itanagar Capital Complex, to be forwarded to the ministry of home affairs, government of India, for investigation by any agency it deems fit.”

The meeting which began by “reiterating the pains and grief felt by all the cabinet members due to the sudden and sad demise of Pul”, however, termed the allegations made by him in ‘Mere Vichar’ as “totally baseless, false and without any evidence/basis.”

According to a press note released by the chief minister’s office on February 19, the cabinet noted that the police had registered “a UD case no 14/2016 U/S 174 Cr Pc at the Itanagar police station on the complaint of [Pul’s] PSO Surendra Kumar Rai” based on which an inquest report was prepared.

The cabinet also took note that “all relevant documents including five copies of ‘Mere Vichar’ and articles were seized by the magistrate. The magistrate handed over all the seized articles along with his report to the police on 10.08.2017, including the copies of notes of ‘Mere Vichar’ in [a] sealed cover.”

“The sealed cover of notes were opened by the police during investigation and resealed after perusal of its contents. In the notes, there was no mention of Pul’s intention to end his life and there was also no accusation against anyone for being responsible for the same.” It further said the sealed copes of the notes were deposited with the CJM “and are presently in court’s custody.”

In response to February 8 report in The Wire, Pul’s wife Dangwimsai held a press conference in Itanagar demanding a CBI probe into the allegations and sought the resignation of both the state chief minister Khandu and his deputy, Chowna Mein.

On February 17, a day before the state cabinet took the decision, she petitioned the Chief Justice of India to take cognisance of the allegations and allow registration of an FIR for further investigation.

Addressing a press meet in New Delhi later that day, she accused the state government of “threatening” her for pursuing the allegations made by her late husband.

In an interview to The Wire the same day, Dangwimsai pointed out a line at the end of the 60-page note of Pul to state that it was her husband’s suicide note and not a biography as being seen by a section of people.

She also accused the state police of not registering the case based on her family’s complaint but on his PSO’s complaint.

“This happened in spite of a letter we wrote on August 9 to the OC, Itanagar police station. Later, the letter was surprisingly shown on record as received on August 11, a day after a case was registered on the basis of his (Pul’s) PSO’s statement,” she told The Wire.

Presently, she is in New Delhi and is seeking time from prime minister Narendra Modi to “intervene in the matter and give [her] justice”.

“There is a BJP government both at the Centre and in the state. Modi ji talks in the media about a corruption-free India. He should intervene now. For a free and fair investigation, both the chief minister and the deputy chief minister should step down. Only Modi ji can help me get justice,” she said.