GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - The former chief minister of a remote Indian region disputed with China was found dead and hanging from a ceiling fan on Tuesday, police and officials said, after a court ruled last month that his appointment had been illegal.
The Supreme Court ruling dealt a blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitions of expanding in the northeast, where his Bharatiya Janata Party scored its first state election victory in the region with a win in Assam in May.
Kalikho Pul, 47, until July the chief minister of the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, had suffered from depression and was upset over the judgment, his aides told media.
“He has committed suicide,” Nabam Tuki, a senior lawmaker of the opposition Congress party said in the capital of the vast but sparsely populated region bordering China.
Pul’s family discovered the body in his bedroom at the chief minister’s residence. Media said he had left a diary, which police were examining.
A politician with Congress since 1995, Pul became chief minister in February after rebelling against the party.
He was put in charge by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s federal government, which had imposed direct rule in the state to end a political crisis.
But the Supreme Court held illegal the imposition of president’s rule, as it is called in India, ordering that the dislodged Congress should return to power immediately, forcing Pul from office.
China claims more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) of territory disputed by India in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. Much of that forms the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China calls South Tibet.
India says China occupies 38,000 square km (14,600 sq miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west.
Reporting by Biswajyoti Das; Writing by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Clarence Fernandez