[ Tongam Rina ]
ITANAGAR, Jun 2: Chakat Aboh lost 10 family members on a single day.
She lost her husband – former minister and MLA (elected in 2019) Tirong Aboh – her son, and a nephew she had been raising as a son since he was a year old, and seven of her closest relatives, including four first cousins.
They were travelling in a four-car convoy when they were ambushed and massacred by suspected NSCN (IM) militants near Bogapani area in Tirap district on 21 May, right next to the busy Pansumthong tea garden.
Of the 15 people in the convoy, 11 lost their lives.
“They could have spared my sons and other relatives. My husband was a public figure, and he might have had enemies. What was the fault of my sons and my relatives and the security officer? My sons were in college,” Chakat said, speaking to this daily at the official quarters of her late husband in Itanagar.
“All I want is justice, nothing else. That’s my only purpose. I owe it to my husband, sons and other relatives,” she said.
However, it is unlikely she will be able to pursue the case or even grieve in peace as supporters of her husband wish that she represent them by contesting the bye-election for the Khonsa West assembly constituency, which is due in the next six months.
Several people in the constituency that this journalist spoke to said that Chakat has to represent them in the legislative assembly, irrespective of which party she chooses.
An employee in the health department, Chakat said she is yet to take a call on that. “It’s too early for me to decide,” she said.
“It’s too early, and I am not in a state to decide. It’s just been 11 days since I lost everyone,” she said. “I want the killers of my family punished. I live with that hope.”
Chakat met Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Saturday, and requested him to ensure that the killers of her family are brought to justice.
“In one day I lost all my loved ones,” she said, and appealed to the state government and the people of her state to see to it that everyone who lost their loved ones gets justice.