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Daughter of Arunachal politician is seeking justice for her father's "murder"

Ngurang Reena is a Ph.D. scholar of international relations and was a professor at Miranda House. She quit her job this semester to pursue what she believes was the murder of her father, who was only 53-years-old. Here is her very touching letter to the Indian PM Narendra Modi who also is from the same political party as her father.

Dear PM Modi,

I am Ngurang Reena from Arunachal Pradesh and I am writing this letter with immense pain and grief. Today, I am writing to you as a disheartened citizen and as a grieving daughter who has just lost her father. I write on behalf of the nine daughters and sons that have been left behind tormented over our father's murder. They say, when decisions become arbitrary, all accountability is lost and today, I have lost confidence in all the institutions on which I can rely for justice. Hence, I write this letter to you, the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India.

I lost my father last November, he was murdered. And I am seeking answers to his death and I am demanding justice for my father's death. He had gone for a rafting expedition on an invitation by his friends and had left from home on the 17th morning. He had no clue how many people and who were to join for the expedition and it was only on his arrival at the spot he learned they were twenty one of them (including him). The group consisted of ex-ministers, government employees, one police personnel, two state recognized criminals, four of his clan brothers' (including the rafting guide) and seven young school/college girls. Since then, I have left no stones unturned to seek an answer to his mysterious death. After long eight months of persistence- giving incessant interviews, publishing stories and reaching out to your office, the President and The MOS State Kiren Rijuju, I had the urge to give up, I was exasperated. I felt like the country didn't care about the helpless and voiceless. But last month when the Arunachal government headed our appeals and transferred my father's case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), I breathe a sigh of relief. Now my family and I are awaiting confirmation from the CBI, on whether they will take up the case.

My family and I pushed for a CBI investigation because we don't have faith on the local administration. Arunachal is a failed state, there is lawlessness and an alarming degree of inefficient police system. Crime rates have reached its peak and many unaccounted deaths have happened in the past as well, with no answers. The Special Investigation team (SIT) that was constituted to lead my father's case was an utter failure, they failed in making any arrests or probe, despite having twenty witnesses/suspects.

My father late Ngurang Pinch died too young, he was just fifty three. He had given forty years of his life in politics, he was popularly known as a public leader than a politician. At the time of his death, he was the Chairman of the Agriculture Marketing Board (APAMB) and a BJP party in-charge and coordinator for Kurung Kumey district, Arunachal.

My father was born in an extremely poor family in a village called Nyapin, in the Kurung Kumey district. When he was just 16, he was child-married to my mother (She was 13). With only two underwear, one vest and bare feet he finished his schooling in the Nyapin Government Higher Secondary School. Where he was a popular student leader. He further migrated to a town for better prospects.

His political journey began at a grass-root level, from having nothing to achieving accolades. He began his journey as an Anchal Samity Member (ASM) from 1987-1992, Then he went on to become the Zila Parishad Member in the year 1992-1997 thereafter, in the year 1992-1996 he was the President DCC (I) Papum Pare District.

Later, he became the Congress President District Papum Pare, AP from 1996-2000. During the 2004 general elections, my father proved his efficacy and his leadership to the state by winning the seat from the 14th Doimukh constituency as an MLA and subsequently, he was also made the Sports Chairman (2004). Losing out on the 2009 general elections by only 150 votes, he was sad, but he did not lose hope. He became the NCP's General Secretary and State President (2009-2010) with a close friendship with the late Member of Parliament P.A. Sangma. In the last two decades, though not in power he was loved and respected by his public. Therefore he worked hard to come back for 2019 assembly elections.

Sir, my father gave all his life for public work, in his political tenure, he was a giver, an honest leader and a hardworking father and above all a great visionary. He worked hard to bring innovative ideas in his work field and he imparted good knowledge and lessons to his children. He did not deserve such tragic death, no one does. My family and I have all the right to know the reasons of his death. On the day he was buried, we cried in pain but mostly in anger, not knowing the reason of his death. We are disappointed in friendship and in humanity as none of the twenty members have came forward providing condolences and mostly for concealing the truth behind my father's death. Today, I have lost all faith in humanity, let alone god. Through this letter, I am only pressing for an independent and a fair investigation on my father's death.

I, as an optimist citizen of India from Arunachal Pradesh, would request you to help us in this fight for justice. I am afraid of the state of affairs in my state, afraid against the powerful ones. Many are as frightened as I am and the media here is also curtailed as in the rest of the democracies. One can only write as much as one is 'allowed' to. Today, I have nowhere else to turn to but you, sir. They say, 'When the horrors and pain of the people are louder than babies crying and when the cry of your neighbours make you more uncomfortable than murder itself, something is awfully wrong'.

Pease help my family and my state, before it's too late and please help us because my father was a good man, a hardworking father and a benevolent citizen of this country, who dedicated his entire life for the public of Arunachal. My family and I repose our faith on you and on the constitution of this country, hoping that we will get justice soon.

Yours,

Ngurang Reena

Politicians murder in Arunachal puts a shadow on the police investigation

The DGP of Arunachal Pradesh sat on a case for over 7 months and came out with nothing conclusive even though there were over 20 people at the site where BJP politician Ngurang Pinch was allegedly murder after an altercation which many of the people there heard, who were present for the water rafting programme.

A case was registered thereafter at the Balijan Police Station, u/s 302/34 IPC (Punishment for murder and acts done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention), based on FIR 03/17 dated 30.11.17. (Picture enclosed). After the ineffectiveness of the Balijan Police, the SIT (constituted on the 30th November) had taken over the case. DNL investigation found enough evidence pointing to an altercation on the night when Mr. Pinch was allegedly murdered.

The family says that their father's death is a political murder as he was the front-runner for the upcoming 2019 election under the banner of BJP. Ngurang Pinch was immensely popular in his constituency.

The pre-planned-expansive rafting expedition, arrangement of food, rafting boats and continuous pressure on their father to join for the expedition by his friends was a well thought staged plot for his murder they say. He was an invitee and had no prior plans to join until the very last day when his plan to go elsewhere with the Home Minister was called off. His daughter Ngurang Reena says, "Above all, the statements provided to us by the twenty members on what had transpired on the fateful night gives out tremendous loopholes leaving us with no choice but to believe that my father's death was a murder".

They had met the Hon'ble CM of the state, Shri. Pema Khandu and had submitted a memorandum on the 23rd of December 2017, demanding for a CBI investigation and they hadn't heard from him for a while. But, on meeting the CM on the 9th of July 2018, we breathe a sigh of relief when he assured us of his support. Subsequently, on the 13th July 2018, an official letter stating the transfer of the case from the SIT to the CBI was recorded.

Following are the important concerns on the case:

He had slept on the left-hand side of the river by the fire place along with two of his brothers, Ngurang Tungke and the rafting guide Ngurang Nega but his body was found on the right side, in the river. Tungke and Nega claim that they didn't see or hear anything despite Tungke sharing the same blanket with Pinch.

As statements given by the rafting guide Ngurang Nega (24) there was a heated argument between their father and Ngurang Abraham (one of the clan brother who is also already a convict) late on the 17th night. He heard Pinch tell others that they would all be arrested after which Abraham asked him to leave the camp lest he should regret. Nega also said that their father was kicked several times by the same Abraham. But surprisingly, no one heard or saw anything after the argument.

The family also has serious concerns about the rafters' intentions, as they were informed inexplicably late about their father's death. They say, the body was retrieved from the water at 7 am but the family received the information only at 2 pm. The rafters' blamed it on poor network, but Reena's family could make and receive calls when they later went to the spot to verify.

The rafting guide also revealed to the family members that after their father's body was found, the elders (13 men) held a meeting from 7 until 2 pm, on how to go about with the incient. They excluded the seven girls from the meeting and concluded and agreed upon some crucial terms and conditions such as:

The details of the event/expedition were not to be disclosed at any cost. b) Nobody was to mention about the presence of the seven girls c) Exclusion of names of some of the senior and government employee named Techi Ramda (EE-PWD) who funded the entire expedition while on duty and the convict's names were to be maintained d) No one was to disclose about the argument that had occurred between their father and Ngurang Abraham. f) The rafting members were also demanded to delete all the photos/videos from the expedition lest they fall into trouble g) On the 18th morning, one of the member as seen by the girls, was burning the blanket that Ngurang Pinch was using on the 17th night. h) Three days after the incident there was a secret meeting held in a recreational park wherein the girls were made to sign on a piece of paper to keep the events that took place confidential. i) When they recovered their father's phone it's screen was cracked, and it had been tampered with secret password. j) Their father's money bag with cash was recovered from the rafting boy Nega.

The family, friends and well-wishers are wondering, why was it important for the rafting members to hold a meeting if they were innocent, who ordered the members to remove/destroy the evidences? The members claimed that their father had drowned, then why were they afraid to call the family members? Why did they not wait until the family showed up and if not, why did they even fail to bring their father's mortal remains to the family, especially his two best friends Kipa Tatar and Attum Welly (both former ministers of Arunachal Pradesh)? They later carried him to an area close by the police station and his remains were kept on bench outside a small shop where the public had gathered hearing the news. Since it was their father's constituency, people had gathered in huge number already but none of the twenty members were present when the family arrived not even his best friends.

There is widespread demand in Arunachal Pradesh and in his constituency of 14th Doimukh to arrest the suspects under these sections immediately.

Section 506 IPC- Criminal Intimidation: In this case against Ngurang Abraham, as heard and told by the witnesses/ suspects.

Section 120 B: Criminal conspiracy.

Section 376 IPC: Punishment for rape (If minor).

May be booked under the Sections 363, 370 A (2) and 370 E IPC: Kidnapping, exploitation of trafficked persons and buying.

Section 379 IPC: Punishment for theft- The handbag containing cash and documents of late Pinch was stolen and later retrieved from one of them by the family members.

Section 193 IPC: False evidence.

Section 201 IPC: Causing disappearance of offence or giving false information to screen offender.

Arunachal a murderers paradise

Tranquility is what delineates Arunachal Pradesh and one is often drawn to this part of India by abundance green and serenity but beyond this delicate picture is a bigoted view-the one that conceals swelling failures of governance and a decayed social system. The unending political upheavals, the impending or already established ethnic and communal violence, exacerbated by emerging insurgency, murders, assassinations and extortions this land, is no longer the home I used to live. My family and I, along with many aggrieved families of the state have somewhere forgotten to enjoy and bask in this 'land of the rising sun-Arunachal.'

The people of Arunachal are aghast and dismayed at the systemic violence and the distorted system with everyday reports of extortion, theft, murder and growing incidents of violence, the failure is, coherently, one of political prudence and planning. In the past three years, the state has seen 161 Murders, 26 in Itanagar itself. While very few of them get reported, let alone solved. My father's case is not an exclusive one, certainly not. I am not claiming any 'VIP treatment' to the case but rather I am disgusted and furious at the plight of my state and speak for all those at the receiving end of this corrupt system. Political assassinations and murders have happened here before almost making us 'used-to' the idea and convincing us of the politician-militant nexus here.

Murder of former MP Wangcha Rajkumar and many more such as DSP (APPSCE) Bomto Kamdak (shot by a criminal at loose and still absconding). One eminent journalist of an esteemed daily was shot here at broad day light, she survived but the criminal is free, unafraid of law. An RTI activist was also falsely accused and framed for possessing illegal arms by some powerful person in the state. The concern is, the government is failing in its duty towards protecting us and we are failing miserably as society hindsight.


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