ITANAGAR: Nine months, numerous appeals and a mass protest later, the Arunachal Pradesh government has finally handed over the investigation into the murder of a 17-year old student to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Toko Yame, a class 12 student at the government higher secondary school in Tawang had gone missing following an altercation with students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) in September last year. His decomposed body was found two days later. Since then, his family and numerous organisations have been expressed their distrust in the special investigation team (SIT) that was formed to investigate the case and had appealed for the investigation to be handed over the CBI.

On June 27, a massive protest rally witnessed hundreds of people take to the streets of Itanagar to voice their displeasure over the delay in arresting the culprits and resolving the investigation.

During this past Monday’s protest, the All East Kameng District Students’ Union (AEKDSU) (Yame was a native resident of East Kameng), had served a 15-day ultimatum to the state government to call the CBI for an inquiry and to terminate the police personnel who were on PCR duty on the day of the incident. The anger and sustained protests appear to have had some effect.

An official statement from chief minister Pema Khandu’s office informed that the state government has handed over the case to the CBI.

The state home commissioner wrote to the CBI on June 28 stating that the state government “took note that the case is serious and sensitive in nature” and that several formal appeals had been made by the people that the investigation should be handed over the central agency.

In the letter, the state home commissioner said that the decision to transfer the case was made on the basis of recommendations made by the director general of police.

Meanwhile, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has welcomed the decision, stating that the investigation must be “fast-tracked and time-bound without any political interference”.