Itanagar Police have made a breakthrough in solving the shooting incident against Arunachal Times Associate Editor Tongam Rina in front of her office here on July 15, 2012.
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.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, had repeatedly assured that the case would be solved and the criminals would be brought to book.
Though police have established charges against three accused after 359 days, the mastermind behind the shooting, Yumlang Achung, is absconding, Itanagar's Superintendent of Police Nabam Gungte said in a release.
Following the incident, police had launched an investigation, but at the demand of the press fraternity of the state the state government decided to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which, however, turned down the request. State police then continued with the probe.
The three accused - Ajit Pegu @ Bikash Pegu (24), s/o of late Kardu Pegu of Baligoah, Pathali Pahar under Bihipuria police station of Assam's North Lakhimpur district; Raju Gurung (25), s/o late DB Gurung of Upper Damsite, Naharlagun; and Gamke Veo (25), s/o late Tuklang Veo of Veo village under Chayang Tajo police station in East Kameng district - were arrested during investigation, and are in judicial custody.
Accused Yumlang Achung (32), s/o late Yumlang Nillo of Senki Park, Itanagar, who planned the shooting, is absconding. He has been proclaimed as an offender and legal proceeding against him is under way, Gungte said.
"Three automatic weapons, including the one used in the shooting have been recovered from the possession of the accused and forensic examination of the weapons has confirmed its use in commission of the crime," he added.
Explaining the motive behind the crime, Gungte said that Achung wanted to harm Rina for not highlighting him and his organization's activities in her newspaper. He and his supporters had ransacked the daily's office on several occasions prior to the shooting incident.
The investigation of the case has been completed and prima facie case well established against Gurung, Pegu and Achung. The charge-sheet was filed Wednesday in the court of the Capital Complex chief judicial magistrate here, Gungte said.