ITANAGAR: Almost eight months since former Arunachal Pradesh legislator, Ngurang Pinch, died under mysterious circumstances, the state government has handed over the probe into his death to the CBI.

The former MLA from Doimukh assembly constituency, who was chairman of the Arunachal Pradesh Agriculture Marketing Board when he had gone on a rafting expedition back in November, had reportedly gone missing near the confluence of Papum and Poma rivers near the state capital. His body was later reportedly found by other members of the expedition that included former MLAs Atum Welly and Kipa Tater.

Ever since his death, Pinch’s family has accused other members of the expedition of having planned and executed his murder and alleged that he was killed for political reasons.

Pinch’s eldest daughter, Meena, had earlier claimed that the family has sufficient video statements from people involved in the rafting expedition which indicated that it was “101 percent a political murder.”

The family had also said that the post-mortem report showed that her father’s body contained minimal water, eliminating the possibility of death from drowning.

Following complaints from the family, the state government order a Special Investigative Team (SIT) to probe the matter. The first SIT was later scrapped and a new team was formed.

In January this year, three people who were part of the expedition- Ngurang Abhram, Ngurang Nega, and Ngurang Tongke -were arrested but not Welly and Tater.

Despite the arrests, Pinch’s family was not satisfied and had accused the SIT and the state government of being ineffective and sluggish, and had been calling for the CBI to step in to investigate the case.

Welly and Tater have earlier said they were not involved in any murder.

Pinch’s younger daughter, Reena, a 26-year-old assistant professor at Miranda House, Delhi, had written to chief minister Pema Khandu in May this year, alleging that two SITs had failed to make any substantial progress in the case.

With pressure growing and the investigation seemingly having met a dead end, the state government has now decided to hand over the case to the CBI.

The state home commissioner, AC Verma, wrote to the CBI director on July 13, stating that “nothing conclusive has emerged from the investigation even after the lapse of more than seven months”.

Pinch’s eldest daughter, Meena, today welcomed the decision, calling it a “great move” and said that people must stop supporting members of the community and clans who are “involved in the crime”.

She said that the youth of the state must “keep questioning the government for the laidback attitude” and that it is “we who give them the leverage to do so”.

This is the third case where the state government has handed over investigations to the CBI in recent weeks after the deaths of 17-year-old Toko Yame in Tawang in September last year and a former student leader, Ojing Taying, who succumbed to his injuries after he and two of his friends were physically assaulted in June last year.