Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Home Minister Bamang Felix on Thursday said that perpetrators involved in the killing of former MLA Yumsem Matey have been identified by the Arunachal Pradesh Police. Matey, who represented Khonsa West assembly constituency in Tirap district, was shot dead on December 16, 2023 by unknown assailants near the Indo-Myanmar border in the Lazu circle of the district. He served as an MLA from 2009 to 2014 on a Congress ticket.
Taking part in the obituary reference in respect of Matey in the House, Felix, while strongly condemning the killing, said the perpetrators of the heinous crime were identified the next day. The minister said the perpetrators had come from the porous India-Myanmar international border. As it was a cross border crime, the police recommended the investigation of the case to Police Headquarters (PHQ), Itanagar, he said. He said the volatile nature of the case forced the PHQ to recommend the case to the Home Department, who in turn, recommended the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on December 21.
“The NIA has already started the investigation,” the minister said, adding that no one would be spared. Terming the killing as an attack on the people of the state, the minister said police are providing full cooperation and support to the NIA to deliver justice to Matey. Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein while condemning the killing, said that peace is a prerequisite for development. He said the government is committed to equal development of all the districts in the state.
The Tirap Changlang and Longding (TCL) region must develop and have good infrastructure, roads, hospitals, etc., like in other parts of the state, he said. Earlier, Assembly speaker PD Sona led the house in paying tributes to the former lawmaker. “The death of Yumsem Matey has created a vacuum. In his death, the state has lost a visionary leader,” the speaker said.
Majority of the speakers demanded strong measures against insurgent groups active in the region and strong vigil along the Indo-Myanmar border. Department of Tirap, Changlang and Longding (DoTCL) Minister Wangki Lowang claimed that the international border was not properly guarded. He also claimed that insurgents and anti-social elements are having a ‘free-hand’ in the TCL region.
Citing the killing of former MP Wangcha Rajkumar in 2007 and former MLA Tirong Aboh in 2019 and others by insurgent groups active in the region, Lowang said many women have been widowed and children orphaned. He said the common public in three insurgency-affected districts were living under constant fear, threat and intimidation. “I request the Centre through the state government to ensure full-proof security and protection of the citizens,” he said. Lowang called for a thorough probe to bring the perpetrators to justice. MLA Wanglam Sawin stressed the need for increased security along the international border. He appealed to the security forces to remain vigilant to thwart such incidents in the future.
State RWD minister Honchun Ngandam, MLAs Laisam Simai, Gabriel D Wangsu, Chakat Aboh and Tangpho Wangnaw also paid tributes to Matey. The house also observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the departed soul. On December 31 last year, the Yung Aung (YA) faction of the banned militant organisation, NSCN-K, claimed responsibility for the murder of Matey, allegedly for his involvement in ‘anti-NSCN’ activities.