'My husband spoke to me in a dream. That's when I decided to... do something': Kalikho Pul's widow
Dangwimsai Pul and her son Ojingso. Dangwimsai has released the unredacted version of Kalikho's 60-page suicide note in which he has alleged corruption by several sitting Supreme Court judges, top lawyers, and even the President. Photograph: (DNA)
By Ritika Jain
The widow of the former Arunachal chief minister Kalikho Pul says her husband came to her in a dream a week ago, which is when she decided to "come forward and do something".
Kalikho Pul had hanged himself at home in Itanagar on August 9 last year, less than a month after the Supreme Court removed him from the chief minister's chair.
Now, his widow, Dangwimsai Pul, is grimly determined to piece together the events that led to his death.
Speaking to DNA from the seventh-floor hotel room in the capital where she has been staying for a week, Dangwimsai says her husband had been distressed for some time before his death. "He was very disturbed in the days when he lost his position as CM and the day he committed suicide," she said.
"My husband spoke to me in a dream a week ago, he was entering a dining room which was dark and simply asked why the lights were off. That's when I decided to come forward and do something," she said.
On July 13 last year, the Supreme Court overrode Arunachal governor JP Rajkhowa's order to advance assembly elections in the state. That meant that Pul, a Congress-rebel — who was receiving outside support from the BJP — lost his post as CM, paving the way for the Congress's Nabam Tuki to take over as chief minister
The day before his death, he was supposed to meet the Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal and had left Itanagar at 1.30 pm. The driver said Kalikho changed his mind often and even turned the car around three times, she said.
Incidentally, the meeting was cancelled and Kalikho returned home by 7.30 pm. He hung himself the next morning. Ten sets of his typewritten (in Hindi) 60-page spiral-bound suicide note bearing his signature on every page were found around him.
Pul's widow has been in the eye of the storm for the past few weeks.
Her release last Friday of the unredacted version of the suicide note has left the judiciary under severe scrutiny. Kalikho has alleged corruption against several sitting supreme court judges, top lawyers and even the President.
Based on the contents of the letter, Dangwimsai had made a plea seeking a probe into her husband's suicide, a plea she later withdrew. On Thursday, Dangwimsai's letter was turned into a criminal petition and heard by an SC bench. This created a conflict of interest because Dangwimsai wanted the Chief Justice to permit an investigation based on the contents of the letter. Instead, by treating the letter as a petition, the judiciary was effectively limiting other legal avenues for the widow.
Now, Dangwimsai is planning her next move, for which she is being counselled by her 20-year old son Ojingso and three well-wishers.
"There has been no investigation into my husband's death. In fact, no FIR has been filed yet based on a complaint we — the three wives, filed immediately after his suicide," she added. "Even the inquest report has been filed based on the Personal Security Officer (PSO)," Dangwimsai added.
Her son Ojingso shares her determination that a probe should be conducted. "My father was a stubborn man though he was always positive. We never thought he would contemplate such a step." Tragically, the second-year Delhi University student was home between July 13 and his father's death on August 9 - which was also his birthday.
On July 13 last year, the Supreme Court overrode Arunachal governor JP Rajkhowa's order to advance assembly elections in the state. That meant that Pul, a Congress-rebel — who was receiving outside support from the BJP — lost his post as CM, paving the way for the Congress's Nabam Tuki to take over as chief minister.
"I believe my father started compiling his suicide note in the week prior to his death. My father wanted his suicide to spark a revolution," Ojingso said. "He killed himself so that an investigation could be conducted based on the allegations he made," Ojingso added.
Pul's suicide letter has sparked a storm, with the judiciary appearing on the back foot.
Dangwimsai seems happy with the storm that she has created. "He (Kalikho) spoke to me again last night in a dream, he said he felt as though he was reborn," she said.
(A version of this report first appeared in DNA)