Politics

Kalikho Pul’s Wife Approaches the Media, Asks For ‘Justice’

Dangwimsai Pul says she has not received any response to her request seeking an appointment with the prime minister to discuss a probe into the contents of her husband’s suicide note.

Dangwimsai Pul, wife of the late Arunachal chief minister Kalikho Pul, and her son at The Wire's office in New Delhi. Credit: Hina Fathima

Dangwimsai Pul, wife of the late Arunachal chief minister Kalikho Pul, and her son at The Wire’s office in New Delhi. Credit: Hina Fathima

New Delhi: Dangwimsai Pul, wife of former chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh Kalikho Pul, issued a statement on April 20 seeking help from the media to fight “the xenophobic stance of the people in power in the state and the Centre” and “get justice” for her deceased husband and family.

In the statement issued in Itanagar, Dangwimsai said though she has been seeking an appointment with the prime minister ever since the news emerged of her husband’s 60-page “suicide note”, with allegations of corruption against some of the top politicians and constitutional heads, she has failed to get an audience with him.

“My husband spent many years in public life and served as a minister in several governments. He tragically committed suicide, left a 60-page diary virtually in the form of a suicide note. … Subsequently, I have approached and entreated the state BJP government, written a letter to Chief Justice of India, written a letter to Vice President of India, met union minister for home Rajnath Singh, met the union tribal affairs minister, written letters to three senior Judges – Justice J. Chelameshwar, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Ranjan Gogoi – on April 3, written a letter to the secretary general (of the Supreme Court) and we have been asking for an appointment with the prime minister since then, and for initiation of an enquiry based on his note,” her statement says.

“Surprisingly, all those exercises didn’t fetch any positive results as yet. Instead, I and my family members (have) started getting threats and intimidations from many quarters,” she added. “This xenophobic stance of the people in power in the state and centre and the hitch in the process they have been indulging into compelled me to approach the fourth pillar of the society, the press, again.”

She felt, “the central and state government have been kept in the dark about the real circumstances relating to my husband’s death.”

On February 12, in response to The Wire‘s report on Pul’s note, titled ‘Mere Vichaar’, Dangwimsai sought help from the media in Itanagar and thereafter in New Delhi to “get justice” for her husband and family. Though she initially demanded a CBI inquiry into the allegations, she later wrote to the chief justice of India (CJI) seeking administrative clearance, as per the K. Veeraswamy judgement, to lodge an FIR against senior judges of the Supreme Court. However, with the CJI turning the letter into a petition to be heard by a two-judge bench instead, she withdrew the plea and approached the vice president. On not hearing from the vice president, she wrote to the three senior-most judges of the apex court seeking permission to lodge the FIR. However, she has not received any response to her letter written on April 3.

Kalikho was the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh from February 19 to July 13, 2016. He committed suicide on August 9, 2016 at the chief minister’s bungalow. Recently, the bungalow was turned into a state guest house.

In the April 21 statement, Dangwaimsai said, “Our family lost its head, and the people of Arunachal Pradesh lost one of its beloved leader. While my family has tried to come to terms with this grief; we were surprised by the indifference of the system in trying to uncover the facts and circumstances of his death.”

She said, “This note was recovered by the authorities, kept in custody, many procedures were undertaken but somehow the system never tried to investigate the facts in the same – aided by the petty manipulations of the powers that be.”

“The former (state) Governor J.P. Rajkhowa wrote to the highest levels in the central government to initiate a CBI inquiry into the contents of the note but was not responded” and “he was finally relieved of his duties,” Dangwaimsai has written.

She asked, “Is it wrong to ask for investigation into the circumstances which led to my husband’s death? Is it wrong for the children to know who was responsible for their beloved father’s death? Is it immoral to suggest that political friends created a labyrinth from which my husband was unable to emerge, ultimately taking his life? Despite these questions which have lingered and pained us no end since his death, we have not been answered till now.”