Exactly 60 days after 47-year-old former Arunachal chief minister Kalikho Pul reportedly hanged himself in the bedroom of his chief ministerial residence on August 9, his caretaker was found dead with
Exactly 60 days after 47-year-old former Arunachal chief minister Kalikho Pul reportedly hanged himself in the bedroom of his chief ministerial residence on August 9, his caretaker was found dead with his body hanging in the former CM’s residence in state capital Itanagar on October 7.
What was uncanny was the similar manner of death. The caretaker, Sushil Barman, 35, was found dead in exactly the same manner as Pul — from the ceiling fan and by using the rope to hang the window curtains. He had reached out to the ceiling fan by placing a chair on the dining table.
Originally from Cooch Bihar, Barman, the father of a six-month-old baby, had been working in the bungalow for more than five years and was the caretaker when Pul died.
Techi Henyir, the sub-divisional police officer at Itanagar, told this newspaper: “Barman died due to unnatural causes. His post-mortem reports are still awaited although prima facie it appears to be a suicide. We are also waiting to question his wife who is performing the last rites at his native place”.
Pul’s death has become more controversial with former Arunachal Pradesh governor J.P. Rajkhowa on Monday making a sensational claim that Pul had left behind 60 pages of secret documents which had politically “explosive” content on corruption the revelation of which can cause “tremors in Indian politics”. He also said that many people had seen those notes. Calling Pul’s death mysterious, Mr Rajkhowa had sought a CBI inquiry to his death.
On September 28, Mr Rajkhowa told this newspaper in an exclusive interview that he has sought CBI investigations into the involvement of many top leaders in the state government in several scams running into hundreds of crores. “Nobody bothers about verifying the property reports of public servants and consequently all cases of ‘disproportionate assets’ owned by the corrupt ones remain unfounded. Ministers are building up five-star hotels or are trying to buy such hotels outside the state, apart from acquiring costly properties across the country,” he had said.
Barman’s death may add another dimension to the case as he may have been privy to many happenings besides being able to possibly identify Pul’s visitors as the bungalow caretaker during the former CM’s last days.
Last year, Pul, from the Idu Mishmi tribe, had led a party rebellion against the then CM Nabam Tuki, a Nyishi tribal. With a Congress high command reluctant to remove Tuki, the resultant political instability led to President’s Rule being imposed in the state on January 26. The central rule ended with Pul being made CM on February 19 with the opposition BJP lending outside support to the government. Pul’s reign did not last long after the Supreme Court questioned Tuki’s removal. On July 13, Tuki was reinstated as the CM.
With Tuki being still opposed by many of his party MLAs, the Congress high command stepped in and installed Pema Khandu as the CM.
In a few weeks time, Pul’s third wife, Dasanglu Pul, will contest the by-election to the assembly seat vacated by the former CM’s death on a BJP ticket.