Saturday, February 18, 2017

Ex-Arunachal CM’s Explosive Suicide Note that BJP is Refusing to Probe

In an explosive 60-page note that Kalikho Pul wrote one day before he killed himself in Itanagar last August, the former chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh has levelled serious allegations of corruption against constitutional functionaries and a host of top politicians in the state – including current chief minister Pema Khandu and his deputy Chowna Mein. The note, whose existence was first disclosed to the media by the former Arunachal Pradesh governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa last October, has remained under wraps since it was first discovered alongside Pul’s body on August 9, 2016. Its contents have remained the subject of intense speculation until today.

Sealed copies of the note were seized by the police when it arrived on the scene but nothing has been heard of Pul’s allegations since then. The Wire’s Hindi site, which has obtained a copy of the note – titled ‘Mere Vichaar’ or ‘My Thoughts’ – is publishing it in its entirety today because it believes the people of Arunachal Pradesh and the rest of the India have the right to know what prompted the former chief minister to take his own life. An English translation is available here.

The Wire is not in a position to verify the accuracy of the allegations that Pul has made in the note but believes the circumstances of its drafting – it is akin to a dying declaration of sorts – and the gravity of charges warrant an independent investigation. So far, neither the state government, which is today in the hands of Pema Khandu of the Bharatiya Janata Party, nor the Centre, has bothered to order a probe into the note’s wrenching allegations. This makes it all the more important that its broad details be brought into the public domain. The note, typed in Hindi with Pul’s signature on every page, has been scanned by The Wire and is available at www.thewirehindi.com.

The note makes allegations of corruption against a number of individuals, including politicians from the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party. Pul, a Congress leader who revolted against the Congress-led Nabam Tuki government in 2015, became chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh for four-and-a-half months in 2016 before the Supreme Court held the dismissal of the Tuki government at the hands of Governor Rajkhowa to be unconstitutional. Pul resigned on July 13, 2016, the day the court gave its ruling. A broken and disillusioned man, he killed himself on August 8, 2016.

Due to the sensitive nature of the claims the note contains, we have redacted some of the names and details involved. Pul believes the Supreme Court was wrong to eventually rule in favour of Nabam Tuki, the Congress chief minister with whom he broke in 2015. In Pul’s telling, Tuki, his erstwhile ally, Pema Khandu, who is now in the BJP, and Khandu’s late father, Dorjee Khandu, milked the state exchequer for years, especially by manipulating funds intended for the public distribution system (PDS), as well as relief funds. The Wire is not in a position to independently corroborate these allegations… read more: