Khonsa West MLA Tirong Aboh (centre) was killed in an ambush along with 10 others on May 21 last year
Khonsa West MLA Tirong Aboh (centre) was killed in an ambush along with 10 others on May 21 last year|File image
ARUNACHAL PRADESH

Arunachal: A year since Tirap massacre, family waits for justice

6 persons have so far been arrested for killing Khonsa West MLA Tirong Aboh and 10 others on May 21 last year; main culprits believed to be still on the loose

Irani Sonowal Lepcha

Irani Sonowal Lepcha

Itanagar: With less than a day remaining for May 21, the day which will mark a year of one of the 'darkest' events in the history of Arunachal Pradesh, family members of victims still wait for justice.

Infamously known as the 'Tirap Massacre' now, the incident had left 11 people, including sitting Khonsa (West) MLA Tirong Aboh, dead. The news sent shock waves not only in the state, but also in the country.

Picture from the encounter site at Khonsa
Picture from the encounter site at Khonsa EastMojo Image

The killings took place in the 12 Mile area of Tirap district when Aboh was on his way to Khonsa, the district headquarters of Tirap, from Dibrugarh in Assam when militants opened fire at his four-vehicle convoy.

Besides Aboh and his 20-year-old son Longiam Aboh, the others killed included Matlam Aboh, Jalin Hakhun, Wangngoi Hakhun, Gamwang Hakhun, Wangngu Hakhun, Tangro Atoa, Poanhang Agi, Patwang Sumpa, Khundong Siksa .

The case, after much tussle, is now being investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), but it remains inconclusive till this day.

A total of six persons have so far been arrested while one was recently granted bail. It is believed that the main culprits behind the killings are still on the loose.

Dadam village entry point at Khonsa
Dadam village entry point at Khonsa EastMojo Image

As the family members of Aboh and the others who died in the massacre are making preparations to pay homage to the deceased at Dadam village on Thursday, many of their well wishers are also planning to organise commemoration programmes in their own ways.

"Along with lighting of candles and offering prayers at the memorial built for the deceased, the day will also see a biography titled "Untold Story of an Inborn Leader" will also be released by Chakat Aboh, Tirong Aboh's who is now the sitting MLA of Khonsa West," a family friend of Aboh told EastMojo.

"Besides remembering our loved ones and praying for their souls, we are at the same time hoping that justice will be served soon. The wait is agonising," he said.

Cemetery at Dadam village where the remains of the deceased are buried
Cemetery at Dadam village where the remains of the deceased are buried EastMojo image

The All Tirap District Students’ Union (ATDSU) has, on the other hand, urged the district administration to support them by sending out requests to all government institutions to observe a two-minute silence as a mark of respect for the departed souls in their respective establishments.

The organisation has also requested for social services to be conducted in all government establishments, markets and schools and a complete shutdown of the market on Thursday.

Tirap deputy commissioner Bhanu Prabha acknowledged receiving the appeal and said the organisation has been granted permission to conduct its programmes.

Meanwhile, Chakat Aboh, who not only lost her husband, but her only son as well in the massacre, said: "It's almost a year that the NIA is investigating the case and though I am satisfied with their effort, I am, however, not happy of the fact that the main suspects behind the killings are still roaming freely."

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