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Some insurgent groups are suspected to be behind the attack on Khonsa West MLA Tirong Aboh (centre) on May 21
Some insurgent groups are suspected to be behind the attack on Khonsa West MLA Tirong Aboh (centre) on May 21|File image
ARUNACHAL PRADESH

Did Arunachal MLA Tirong Aboh sense impending danger to his life?

In a video in possession of EastMojo of his last public rally, over a month before he was killed, the Khonsa West legislator is seen demanding extra security for candidates, free-and-fair polls

Irani Sonowal Lepcha

Irani Sonowal Lepcha

Itanagar: Did Tirong Aboh, the slain MLA of Khonsa West in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tirap district, sense the impending danger to his life in the days leading to his assassination?

In a video of a rally organised by the National People’s Party (NPP) leader on Mach 30 -- in what is being called as his last public address and which is available with EastMojo -- Aboh can be seen asking the higher authorities of 'NSCN (IM)‘ to withdraw all illegal activities by its group in the region and urged the insurgent group to let the contestants fight the assembly elections in a free and fair manner.

While talking about NSCN’s motto for the Naga people, the legislator asked them to support leaders who work for the betterment of the region.

In the video, Aboh is also heard appealing all the political leaders concerned to stop using insurgent groups for politics and, more importantly, requesting the Election Commission of India to increase the security in the area.

Khonsa West MLA Tirong Aboh being laid to rest with full state honours
Khonsa West MLA Tirong Aboh being laid to rest with full state honours
EastMojo image

So did he know about the threat?

Almost a month before the May 21 ambush took place, news of NPP worker Jaley Anna being beaten to death by suspected NSCN (IM) rebels at Kheti village in Tirap district made headlines in many media outlets.

When EastMojo reached Kheti village and spoke to the locals, it was learnt that Anna, who was an avid supporter of MLA Aboh, mentioned two names, that of Phawang Lowang and Moliam Khoisia, before he breathed his last.

As per sources, while in his death bed, Anna was heard saying, “Phawang and Moliam are the ones responsible for my death.”

Following the incident, an FIR was lodged at the Khonsa police station against Lowang and Khoisia seeking their arrest. However, nothing has come out of it so far.

Meanwhile, Lowang has refuted the allegations made against him.

In a statement issued to EastMojo, Lowang said, “On that day, Shri Moaliam Khoisia and myself was out of station (Khonsa). In this case one person Shri Khamney Aboh of Kheti village, who is one of the victims during an incident now he is under treatment, may he be called for statement of the said incident. Shri Khamney Aboh is the only prime witness of the incident occurred on 29th March, 2019. [sic]”

“In this contrast, it is to bring the fact that totally there is not my hand in beating to death of late Jaley Anna of Kheti village on 29th March, 2019. In fact I have also been shocked by the unfortunate incident, and immediately after the incident I personally met with victims family members in which they clearly said that they have not any doubt on my character and BJP party. It is well known to the society that there is no any adverse records against me before or after entering the politics, as I am a god fearing and law abiding citizen. Moreover, if it is so as accused against me on EastMojo news then the statement could have been heard from the victims’ family members or any relative during the meeting with them. Therefore, it is to make clear from my side that there is neither my hand nor BJP party in the beating to death of late Jaley Anna [sic],” Lowang added.

Khonsa West MLA Tirong Aboh, who was killed in an ambush near Bogapani in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tirap district on May 21, being laid to rest
Khonsa West MLA Tirong Aboh, who was killed in an ambush near Bogapani in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tirap district on May 21, being laid to rest
EastMojo image

Interestingly, Lowang was MLA Aboh’s only opposition in this year’s assembly election and was fighting on a ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket. Moliam, on the other hand and as per sources, is a BJP worker and a strong supporter of Lowang.

“An FIR was lodged. The legislator then urged the police to arrest the culprits, demanded additional security forces. People of the town took out a mass rally protesting the killing, but no action was taken. This may be because the complaint was against a candidate from the ruling party,” a highly-placed source told EastMojo.

“What is more disheartening is that the local police and administration did not take any action even though a complaint was lodged by a sitting MLA. Imagine what will happen in the case of normal public,” the source added.

Chakat Aboh (centre), wife of slain MLA Tirong Aboh
Chakat Aboh (centre), wife of slain MLA Tirong Aboh
File image