Itanagar: A candlelight vigil was taken out at the state capital in Itanagar on Tuesday by the Arunachal Civil Society (ACS) to express solidarity with the bereaved family members of Khonsa West MLA Tirong Aboh and 10 others who were killed in an ambush in Tirap district on May 21.
The march saw participation of people from all walks of life including several student organisations of the state such as All Tirap, Changlang, Namsai and Longding Students’ Union, Dera Natung Government College Students’ Union, Rajiv Gandhi University Students’ Union etc. The solidarity walk started from the Aakashdeep shopping complex in Itanagar.
Carrying placards and shouting slogans like “We are proud Indians and NSCNs are terrorists” and “Save TCL and Arunachal,” the participants walked all the way till the Tennis Court in Indira Gandhi Park where the rally turned into a mass gathering.
Addressing the gathering, leaders of the student organizations and ACS strongly condemned the assassination of MLA Aboh, his son and the others and termed it as a cowardly act.
The speakers also demanded that the government should hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or National Investigation Agency (NIA) so that the culprits behind the killings are arrested at the earliest.
Legislator Aboh was on his way to Khonsa, the district headquarters of Tirap from Dibrugarh, Assam, on the ill-fated day when suspected Naga militants opened fire on his convoy, comprising four vehicles. Also among the dead two were police personnel.
Following the incident, a massive counter-insurgency operation has been launched by the security forces in the jungles of Tirap, Longding and Changlang (TLC) districts, however, no arrests have been made so far.
The MLA had also contested this year’s assembly elections as a National People’s Party (NPP) candidate and retained his seat, that is, the Khonsa West assembly constituency, where he defeated his lone rival, Phawang Lowang of the BJP by 1,055 votes.
Aboh was first elected from the constituency in 2014 on a People’s Party of Arunachal ticket. He had later joined the Congress during former chief minister Nabam Tuki’s reign after which he was also inducted as cabinet minister for a period of around four months.
Meanwhile, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has also announced to organise a candlelight vigil in all the district headquarters of the state soon to condemn the killings.
Terming the killings of the MLA and 10 others a “political murder”, the Union has also demanded that an NIA inquiry be initiated into the killing at the earliest.
AAPSU has called upon the state as well as the government at the Centre to demonstrate strong “political will” and resolve the insurgency issue that torments the Tirap, Changlang and Longding (TCL) region once and for all.
The Arunachal Law Academy on Monday evening organized a similar march at the Lekhi Village area near Itanagar.