Nabam Runghi, popularly known as an architect of Arunachal Pradesh’s capital Itanagar, has passed away following a prolonged illness, the family said on Monday.
Runghi, who was one of the first council member of the then North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) which later became the Arunachal Pradesh, breathed his last on Sunday midnight at his residence in Yupia, they said.
His last rites would be performed on Tuesday, the family said.
Runghi was 84 and is survived by four wives and several children.
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Following the news of Runghi’s demised, condolences were poured in from across sectors, including state chief minister Pema Khandu.
Deeply condole the sad demise of Late Nabam Runghi, the first Agency Council member from Nyishi community and is credited to be the person behind making Itanagar as the State Capital. May almighty God bless the departed soul with eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/J0aTHO2WeY— Pema Khandu (@PemaKhanduBJP) November 19, 2018
In his condolence message, Khandu wrote, “It pains my heart to write to you at this moment of extreme grief. I humbly endure to share with you the saddest times of your life though I know that it would be hard to do so and ease the pain you and your family are going through.”
“The news of sad demise of Runghi has come as shock to me. He was conferred Gold Medal in the year 2017 by Government of Arunachal Pradesh for his outstanding contribution to the state and the society. He will be remembered as a first-generation leader, a pioneer and an architect of Itanagar and a great social worker. His demise is a great loss to the state,” Khandu said in the letter.
May Almighty God bless the departed soul with eternal peace in heavenly abode and give strength to you and your family to bear the irreparable loss, the chief minister added.
According to sources, Runghi convinced the then governor of Assam, B K Nehru to make Itanagar as the capital. Nehru was governor between 1968 and 1970.
Runghi carried bricks collected from the Ita Fort, a 500-year-old fort in Itanagar, to the then Assam capital Shillong to prove that Itanagar is major historical place and worthy to be made capital.
(With PTI inputs)