[ Nellie N Manpoong ]
ITANAGAR, Jun 4: Chief Minister Pema Khandu informed that the assassination case of MLA Tirong Aboh and 10 others has been referred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and a team is expected to arrive in Tirap district soon for investigation.
Addressing the house during the obituary reference in the legislative assembly here on Tuesday, Khandu said, “We cannot reveal sensitive security data, but I promise that you will see results in the case.”
Khandu acknowledged that the central government has not taken substantial steps against the prevailing insurgency, and noted the inadequacy in the state’s law and order mechanism.
He also took serious note of the threats issued to the legislators of Tirap, Changlang and Longding (TCL) districts, and suggested providing proper security to them.
In order to bring efficiency in the TCL region in terms of security, the chief minister said the police department will see a reshuffle of personnel to different locations.
“The number of police personnel in TCL is large, but a reshuffle is required (for security) to be more effective,” he said, and requested the legislators “not to obstruct the transfer or
posting of those known to them, especially from the police department, during such sensitive times.”
Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, who has met the families of the victims of the Tirap massacre, gave assurance that the perpetrators would be nabbed at the earliest.
He stressed on raising an “anti-terrorist force” in the state and providing it with encouraging incentives.
Expressing hope for a “positive result from the NIA,” PHE&WS Minister Wangki Lowang cautioned that “innocent public should not be victimized in the name of investigation.”
“The assassins should be nabbed to bring an atmosphere of confidence among the public,” Lowang said.
Borduria-Bogapani MLA Wanglin Lowangdong, Roing MLA Mutchu Mithi and Kanubari MLA Gabriel Wangsu questioned the lapse in intelligence.
Noting that security in the state would be the first challenge for the newly-formed government, Lowangdong said, “Where was the intelligence agency when Aboh was threatened and had sought more security? The brutal murder of Aboh is the saddest reflection of how things are, and of things to come, in TCL, especially Tirap,” he said.
“Everyone knew what was going on. We fail to understand why security was not beefed up,” Mithi said.
He said a safe, secure and peaceful environment could be brought about “only when thorough investigation is conducted.”
Addressing the government, Mithi added: “Do not merely leave the case to the NIA. Keep monitoring the progress yourself. Check on the administration and security forces to find out why it happened, so that such incidents can be avoided in the future.”
Khonsa East MLA Wanglam Sawin, Rural Works Minister Honchun Ngandam, Nampong MLA Laisam Simai and Changlang South MLA Phosum Khimhun also sought concrete results in the case to avert the occurrence of similar incidents in TCL and the state in general.
While ground reports indicate that security forces concluded their search operations on 29 May, Home Minister Bamang Felix said, “The search operation is still going on in vulnerable areas of Tirap and Changlang. There may be some replacement of forces due to various factors, but they have not been called back as such.”
Assuring that the home department would leave no stone unturned to nab the perpetrators, he informed that a review meeting will be held at the police headquarters here on Thursday.
Earlier, Khandu informed that, besides providing government jobs to the next of kin of the deceased, Rs 50 lakhs will be given to the families of the two PSOs who lost their lives in the ambush on Aboh’s convoy, in keeping with police rules.
The families of the others who lost their lives will be given Rs 20 lakhs each as ex gratia, he said.