Hawaii (Arunachal Pradesh), Aug 11 (IANS) Former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul was cremated on Thursday with full state honours at his native village at Walla (Hawaii) in Anjaw district.
Thousands of people gathered to pay homage and bid a tearful adieu to Pul, who was regarded as a “popular chief minister” of this mountainous state.
Pul (47) was found hanging from a ceiling fan in the Chief Minister’s official bungalow in Itanagar on Tuesday morning.
Pul’s eldest son Ojing Pul went around the funeral pyre before consigning it to flames as per the Mishmi tribal traditions just before sunset.
Political leaders cutting across party lines were present to pay their last respects to the veteran Congress leader.
Assam’s Public Works Department Minister Parimal Shukla Baidya accompanied by BJP legislator Padma Hazarika attended the cremation on behalf of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
National People’s Party President Conrad K. Sangma, who is also a sitting Lok Sabha member from Tura constituency, rushed to Itanagar to pay his last respects to Pul at Itanagar on Wednesday before his body was airlifted to his native village.
Describing Kalikho Pul as “a man of practical and a visionary leader”, Baidy said he was very impressed with the late Congressman’s work and vision for Arunachal.
Arunachal’s BJP legislator Mohesh Chai, who spoked on behalf of the bereaved family members, said the premature death of Pul was not only a big loss for his family and Anjaw district but also for the state and the country.
Several state legislators, including Mohesh Chai, Kameng Dolo, Jarkar Gamlin, Tamar Murtem, Tage Taki, Laisam Simai and Mutchu Mithi, state BJP president Tapir Gao and People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) chairman Kameng Ringu attended the cremation, though Chief Minister Pema Khandu and former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki were conspicuous by their absence.
Meanwhile, law and order in Itanagar, the state capital of Arunachal Pradesh, remained peaceful on Thursday, with no fresh incidents of violence reported.
Supporters of Kalikho Pul had gone on a rampage, damaged official residences of at least two ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and also damaged government and private vehicles.