Arunachal records worst saga of election violence

* Wangki-led team salutes Tirong Aboh * Last rites on May 24

By Pradeep Kumar

ITANAGAR, May 22: PH&WS & DoTCS Minister Wangki Lowang and Khonsa East MLA Wanglam Sawin, representing the state Govt, accompanied with other leaders and Tirap DC P N Thungon placed wreaths on mortal remains of Khonsa West seat NPP MLA Tirong Aboh kept in a tri-colour wrapped coffin and 10 others on Wednesday at his native village Dadam, 1 ½-km from district HQs Khonsa..

Hundreds of relatives, well-wishers and supporters joined the masses who have been mourning after Aboh and 10 were killed by underground elements at Bogapani near Khonsa on Tuesday.  Tirong through his committed works during last five years had carved a niche for himself in the hearts of the masses of insurgency infested Tirap district.

Wangki consoled the bereaved family members and handed over letters of Chief Minister Pema Khandu and DyCM Chowna Mein to late Aboh’s wife Chakat, in which Khandu assured that the perpetrators of the heinous crimes will not be spared and befitting action initiated to grant justice to the victims.

“Aboh was a fine gentleman with high probity, disciplined and committed to become one of the prominent personalities of the state. He never backed down from voicing against militant activities in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts. I personally recall his contribution in maintaining communal harmony in the state,” CM’s letter read.

DyCM Mein conveyed his solidarity with the bereaved family at this hour of distress.

The team also conveyed the condolence messae of chief secretary Satya Gopal, DC Thungong told this daily. The last rites will be performed on May 24.

The state went to simultaneous Lok Sbaha and assembly elections in the first phase on April 11 last. But allegations of violence, booth capturing and other corrupt practices forced rounds of re-polling, making elections as battleground for contesting candidates and their supporters.

But the coldblooded murder of 11 persons (Aboh, his son Longgem and nine close relatives) by suspected underground elements saw perhaps the ‘darkest’ period in state’s history. This could be described as worst saga of violence since the state graduated to parliamentary form of democracy in 1978.

Though, the Army had launched a massive operation in and around Khonsa while additional forces were rushed to Khonsa and adjoining areas to nab the culprits. Moreover, the DIG (Eastern range), IGP (law & order), Tirap and Changlang SPs were rushed to coordinative. But, the outcome was not known.

Political parties in the fray – ruling BJP, Congress, NPP, PPA, JD (S) and JD (U) – accusing each other of violence and booth capturing and underground elements interfering in election process created a conundrum beyond the analysis of political pundits.

How long shall the state people, especially Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts suffer due to the terror created by such UG elements in the minds of the common man- is a million dollar question. On March 30, two NPP workers of Kheti village were abducted and beaten mercilessly by alleged UR elements in Tirap district. One of them succumbed to his injuries while the other was admitted to a hospital for treatment.

On April 1, former ZPM Seliam Wangsa, an active BJP member, was shot dead by suspected insurgents at Nginu village under Wakka circle of Longding district.

There is a need for launching necessary deterrents against such elements to restore public confidence and faith. There is a general feeling that UG elements are openly having a field day in those three districts.

Apart from the eastern districts of TCL, Kra Daadi and Kurung Kumey districts also witnessed violence and vandalism. Initially, due to allegations, counter-allegations of violence and counter-violence by opposition parties and BJP, the April 11 polls were cancelled and re-polling was ordered.

However, ahead of re-polling on April 27, miscreants had snapped the cables on the bridges leading to Nampe and Gime polling stations in above districts. On April 25, GB Bengia Tamang, a worker of NPP, was shot dead. However, police have arrested two accused.

On April 29, Kurung Kumey SP office was ransacked and 37 gelatin sticks were recovered from Koloriang helipad the same day.

The polling team proceeding to Nampe was gheraoed by about 400-500 armed people who had fired many rounds in air and snatched away polling materials including EVMs. However, Kurung Kumey deputy commissioner Santosh Kumar Rai had dispatched stand by polling team through a different route to Name and re-polling was successfully conducted at both stations on Tuesday.

Some disgruntled voters on Sunday last had vandalized the state Nirbachan Bhawan here, first time in the state. However, on formation of the new government things are expected to improve, poll pundits commented.

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