NSCN-IM kills 7 in Arunachal Pradesh: Militants gun down Nagaland People’s Party candidate, 6 others

A candidate of the Nagaland People’s Party (NPP) was among six others gunned down by NSCN-IM militants in Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday, police said. Tirong Aboh, a sitting MLA from Khonsa West and seeking re-election from the seat, was on his way to his constituency when the suspected rebels opened fire at their vehicle near Bogapani village of Tirap district around 11.30 am, a media report quoted deputy commissioner P.N. Thungon as saying. Besides Aboh, two security personnel and four civilians were among the dead.

All the victims died on the spot, while the rebels fled the scene after the attack, he said. Condemning the brutal attack, NPP president and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Konard Sangma sought help from the centre to flush out the rebels. In a tweet, Sangma said his party is extremely shocked and saddened by the news of MLA Tirong Aboh’s death. Arunachal Pradesh Home Minister Kumar Waii has also condemned the attack and said that an inquiry has been ordered into the gruesome attack. He claimed a political rival may have conspired the attack.

However, The Arunachal Times in a report claimed the assailants belonged to the NPP, which is an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in northeastern states. NPP holds 16 seats in the 60-member Arunachal Assembly.

In another attack on the same day, around 500 masked men allegedly attacked a polling team and snatched their EVMs. Citing Nampe magistrate Rido Tarak, the report claimed the miscreants indiscriminately fired several rounds of bullets with sophisticated weapons, which included AK-47 assault rifles, at the convoy around 5 pm. The CRPF personnel reportedly did not resort to retaliatory firing, fearing casualties on both sides. The attackers outnumbered the security forces and the polling team, the Times quoted a police officer as saying.

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