Ex-Chief Minister of Arunachal Kalikho Pul commits suicide

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Weeks after he was ordered by the Supreme Court to step down as Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Kalikho Pul allegedly committed suicide this morning. He was 47.

He was found hanging in the Chief Minister’s official residence in Itanagar, which he had yet to vacate because his home was being renovated.

Sources say Mr Pul left a diary, which is being examined by the police.

Hours after his body was found, angry supporters gathered outside Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s home. Reports say the homes of Mr Khandu’s deputy Chowna Mein and another minister were attacked.

Last month, the Supreme Court for the first time removed a government in power and ordered that Arunachal Pradesh be restored to the charge of the Congress.

Kalikho Pul was with the Congress till late 2015 when he rebelled along with a large section of legislators from the party against then chief minister Nabam Tuki; in February, he became chief minister with the backing of the BJP.

That appointment was illegal, the Supreme Court ruled, as the Governor had no power to summon the assembly bypassing the state government.
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The rebels returned when the Congress, in an attempt to win them over, picked Mr Khandu as chief minister. Chowna Mein was the leader who negotiated the return of the rebels.

At Mr Khandu’s oath-taking ceremony, Kalikho Pul, who was seated in front row, had told NDTV: “I always follow my heart and did what I thought was right. Now the court order has come and I am following the court order.” (Agencies)

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