The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP of orchestrating protests in Itanagar following the alleged suicide of former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul, with AICC Secretary K. Jayakumar saying the saffron party will be to blame if the law and order situation goes out of control.
“The Congress very strongly condemns the action of the BJP. The protests are not by Pul’s supporters. The protests have been orchestrated by the BJP. It will be liable for any casualties that take place,” Jayakumar, who reached Itanagar on Tuesday after Pul’s alleged suicide, told THE WEEK.
After the news of Pul’s death was out, scores of protesters gathered outside the residence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu. Alleging foul play in Pul’s death, they demanded a probe into it. They also pelted stones at the residence of Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and at the bungalows of a few MLAs. An under-construction building in the official premises of Mein was set on fire by the protesters.
Following the protests, police deployment was increased in the VVIP zone and the residence of the chief minister, which Pul was yet to vacate and where his body was found hanging from a ceiling fan, was also heavily secured by the police in view of the large numbers of protesters converging to the spot.
The Congress also alleged that the BJP, by harming the law and order situation in the state, is again trying to impose President’s rule. “They want to create a situation that will help them impose President’s rule,” Jayakumar said.
He went to the extent of blaming the BJP and Governor J.P. Rajkhowa for Pul’s alleged suicide. “The situation that drove Pul to committing suicide was created by the BJP and the Governor. He was a simple man, a quiet person, who was motivated to rebel against the Congress by the BJP, and in the end, he was frustrated and depressed,” he said.
According to Congress sources, Pul wrote a 60-page note, which was discovered after his death. “He must have written it over several days. It is not something that he could have written overnight,” a source said. The contents of the note, which is in the custody of police, are yet to be known.
On Wednesday, Pul’s body today taken to his native village in a chopper for the last rites to be conducted.
Pul, 47, had rebelled against former chief minister Nabam Tuki and managed to form his own government with the help of the BJP in early 2016. However, the Supreme Court, in July, ruled his government unconstitutional and reversed the clock to reinstate Tuki. The Congress later won over the rebels, including Pul, and Khandu emerged as the chief minister.