Prime suspect Achung surrenders in journalist Tongam Rina shooting case

Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Sept. 12 (ANI): Yumlam Achung, the alleged mastermind in the July 15, 2012 Tongam Rina shooting case, after absconding for some time, surrendered before the first class judicial magistrate at Yupia today.

On being remanded to seven-day judicial custody by the magistrate, he was taken to the Juli District Jail by a police team, Capital S P Nabam Gungte told this daily.

The incident had created a sensation, evoking condemnation from the Press Council of India, the International Federation of Journalists, the National Federation of Newspaper Employees, and the South East Women in Media.

Chief Minister Nabam Tuki had repeatedly assured that the case would be solved and the criminals would be brought to book.

Following the incident, the police had launched an investigation. However, under pressure from the state's press fraternity, including the Arunachal Press Club (APC) and the Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ), the GoAP decided to hand over the case to the CBI. This request, however, was turned down and the state police continues to have overall supervision of the probe.

Though police have established charges against three accused after 359 days, the mastermind behind the shooting, "Yumlang Achung, has been absconding since the day the report was filed against him," Gungte had told media persons on July 17 last.

Achung was booked under Section 120(B) for criminal conspiracy, 307 and 34 IPC, while e other two accused were booked under the Arms Act, 25 (1A). Achung had engaged Ajit Pegu and Raju Gurung to carry out the shooting, the SP had disclosed.

The police on July 10 last had filed chargesheet against Gurung, Pegu and Achung for their involvement in the case, adding that investigation had been completed and prima facie case established against the three accused. The case was submitted the same day at court of the Capital Complex chief judicial magistrate for trial.

However, Achung's wife, Yumlam Mena, denied his involvement in the case, and said that the charge was a repetition of what the police had said on 18 July last year, followed by Achung's denial of his role.

The APC and the APUWJ, which have been spearheading the fight to seek justice for Rina, had welcomed the news of police filing chargesheet against three alleged accused and had thanked capital police SP Surender Kumar and Gungte, particularly the investigation team lead by SI Inya Ete, for putting honest efforts to crack the case. By Pradeep Kumar (ANI)

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