Fourth day and still waiting
to locate the Chopper
ITANAGAR, May 3: It’s the fourth day today and citizens of the state are still waiting for its Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu and his entourage after the chopper carrying them went missing on Saturday morning.
Despite pressing in the services of the Sukhoi-
Ground search teams made slow progress as hostile terrain and heavy rains and snowfall in most places made it difficult to carry out the search operation.
Meanwhile, the search and rescue operations were taken up with vigour in the area identified on the basis of information given by ISRO and images from Sukhoi, said government spokesperson Jarbom Gamlin. Four locations identified by ISRO and Sukhoi have been searched so far and search for 3 other locations will be taken up tomorrow.
This area is near Naga Grazing Ground and located on the southern slope of the mountain which is covered with snow, he said.
The army troop’s alongwith ITBP, SSB, local Police and public members have been searching this area since early morning and the search still continues.
One patrol of army has also been sent to Bhutan border to search in the border areas and according to the last information received they have reached upto 2.5 Km away from Pattu GG, another place identified based on ISRO images.
The search is also in progress in the areas near Kyela Bowl. One more location has been mentioned which is north of Thongrong in Bhutan. The information has already been shared with Govt. of Bhutan for intensifying search operations, he said.
Two MI helicopters took off from Tawang in the early morning but had to return within half an hour due to inclement weather while efforts to mount aerial search are continuing.
He further appealed to the general public to give any clue about the missing chopper.
Union Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanswamy, briefing reporters here on the search operation, evaded most questions even as he informed that said seven locations, including one inside Bhutan, had been identified by ISRO imagery and Sukhoi mapping.
Meanwhile, a reward of Rs 10Lakh has also been declared by the State Govt. to any individual who provides any significant clue which would help in search and rescue operation.
For some reason, it appears that India and Pakistan inexplicably share the same fate-
The United States of America (‘God Bless America!’) came and virtually over-
Even after four days, we don’t have any clue where the Pawan Hans chopper that flew our Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, his security officer and three others is. And we live in a country that takes pride in its satellite technology and defense capabilities! The last 90 odd hours have shown that at least for the people of this state, these so called prides are heavily misplaced.
Questions abound. Rumours outdo them. Yours truly is left wondering what or who to believe and what or who not to. Bottom line is that our Chief Minister is untraceable and we seem not to be able to do anything about it. Each passing hour scares our hopes. How we wish that search operations are successful.
Have we acted responsibly? Unverified ‘safe landing’ reassurances by none other than
the Governor of the state, a former Army Chief, coupled with sheer lack of information
and coordination by the state government perhaps tell us that we did not act responsibly.
Arunachal perhaps has never seen more difficult times. One expected that with a missing Chief Minister, search operations would be of the highest priority level. Is it? One can never say. All that yours truly knows is that “the sentinel of the east” has questions that no one seems bothered enough to reply.
To its credit, people of the state have shown incredible courage and resilience so far by not burning down the Pawan Hans hangar or anything as stupid. However, considering the wide spectrum of delayed or missed action, one cannot be faulted to expect that it’s time for heads to roll.
But then our heads are so hidden in our little toes and literally it never rolls.
In the meantime, what we are left with are stories of hope and faith. We believe, perhaps naively, that the many unnamed defense personnel, flight pilots and concerned citizens will bring back our Chief Minister.
Yours truly can only empathize with what the families must be going through. At times like this unspoken concern perhaps works better than spoken sympathy and action.
In Pakistan, there was a closure of some kind. Can we expect ours? The state, in the meantime, waits.
Questions galore for State, Centre,
Army and Media
Dirang, May 3: Sleepy Dirang situated in West Kameng district has become the nerve centre to find the missing Pawan Hans helicopter carrying chief minister Dorjee Khandu and four others which went missing on 30th April near Sela Pass.
With indications that missing chopper could be somewhere around Indo-
With arrival of high level team from Itanagar lead by MP Takam Sanjoy, the search operation has gained momentum.
However many local residents of West Kameng fear that it has come too late. There is sense of feeling of alienation among the residents here about the way central and state government reacted to this whole incident.
“It’s going to be four days since chief minister of this state has gone missing. There have been no high level visitors from Itanagar to monitor rescue operation. It’s only yesterday after arrival of MP Takam Sanjoy and his team that rescue operation got momentum. We are saddened with lethargic response of state and central leaders,”said one local villagers of Dirang.
He further added, “He is the Chief Minister of Arunachal and not that of West Kameng and Tawang only.”
Further local residents expressed anger over leaders and bureaucrats giving bytes to media without any proper knowledge.
“All the political leaders and ruling class are giving all sorts of media bytes and trying to gain cheap mileage over this incident. But till now no one has come here to help and encourage the people who are working day and night in hostile condition to trace missing chopper. Sitting at Itanagar, enjoying wonderful weather and tea, talking big will not help trace the Chief Minister,” said another agitated local resident of Dirang.
The home minister of the state, true to his reputation, is always missing at crucial times. He has even failed to send the secretary of his department, said another.
Apart from this people here are absolutely furious with media for making mess out of this incident.
“Initial media report about Chief Minister and his team being found safe at Bhutan made authorities complacent. That led to loss of valuable time and perhaps that was the turning point of the search operation. People responsible for making such gross mistakes should not be spared,” said Phurpa Tsering, local MLA of Dirang.
He went on to add, “We know national media is TRP hungry and can create confusion with their reporting. But we are shocked that even after 3 days of incident no local media persons came here to cover this incident from the ground. We expect better from our own local media.”
He also thrashed claim that army launched massive operation to trace missing chopper. “Only after the arrival of MP and his team that the army search operation has gained momentum. But ITBP and SSB has been helping local residents a lot in the search operation,” said Phurpa Tsering.
The villagers of Dirang, Tawang, Bomdila and all nearby areas have spread into the jungles to trace the missing chopper. The inclement weather has made search operation very difficult. Today also Dirang and Bomdila were covered with dark could and thick fog which is hampering the search operation. However everyone here is hopeful that tomorrow dark cloud will move away and bring a good news about missing chopper.
of search operation
Pray for safe return of CM and others
ITANAGAR, May 3: Various organizations of the state have expressed deep concern over the slow progress in search and rescue operation to trace out where about of the missing chopper, Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu and others on board who went missing since Saturday last. At the same time, they also prayed for safe return of CM and others.
Expressing dismay over the delay in tracing the missing copter, the Central Executive Committee of Confederation of Service Association of Arunachal Pradesh (CoSAAP) said that the Centre has shown ‘indifferent attitude’ towards rescue of the missing chief minister. Prime Minister should monitor the search and rescue operation to boost the morale of the people of the state, the CoSAAP opined.
The entire Govt employees are deeply demoralized with the missing of CM.
The Idu Mishmi Cultural and Literary Society (IMCLS), the highest apex body of Idu Mishmi community said that this is the testing time for government of India to show to the people of Arunachal Pradesh on their commitment towards us.
While expressing shock at the disappearance of the chopper with Chief Minister and four others, the Apex body decried the slow process of search and rescue operations. It has come to our deep shock and knowledge that despite tall claims of deployment of thousands of troops by the government of India, reports from the local sources have confirmed it to numbering around 500 only, it said. The local search parties have also expressed dissatisfaction over the aerial search operations, it added.
We pray for safety and success of the civilian search parties who have been braving tough terrain and extreme weather on their search mission since the day the chopper went missing, it said.
The All Nyishi Students Union (ANSU) prayed for safe return of all the passengers, including State Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu.
ANSU strongly blamed the Centre for their inordinate delay in tracing the missing helicopter.
“The Centre has once again proved that they are not interested in the affairs of Arunachal and its people. Here, a chief minister is missing for many days but the Centre has failed to trace. We wonder what will happen if an unfortunate mishap from neigbouring countries occur. Will we beat the same drum of inclement weather and unfriendly terrain”? ANSU questioned.
“The Centre needs to overhaul the present air service in Arunachal in particular and Northeastern region as a whole so that lives are not compromised” it added.
Expressing deep concern over the ‘failure of the state Govt and Centre’ to trace out the missing chopper and CM and others even after four days since Saturday last, the Arunachal Indigenous People’s Union said that more armed forced be deployed in ground level to find out where about of the CM and his chopper. Even though India is considered as growing super power in the world, ISRO’s satellite mapping did not yield any result even after the four days of chopper missing, the union rued. It appealed to the Govt to put all out efforts for rescue of missing choppers, CM and others.
Arunachal Christian Forum (ACF) earnestly appealed to the state as well as Central Government to make all out efforts to trace the missing CM and his entourage at the earliest.
While expressing concern and anguish over delay in tracing the CM, the ACF also expressed profound sadness and deep sense of sympathy to the family members of the CM and four others.
The Pastors of Capital Complex and Christian leaders are organizing a prayer meet at CRC, Naharlagun tomorrow to pray for the CM.
Jalley Sonam, Working president INTUC Arunachal Pradesh branch-
Both Sonam and Tajo appealed to the workers of the entire state to pray for safe return of the chief minister and four others.
The members of Kargu Gamgi Itanagar organized a mass prayer meet for the safe return of Chief Minister Khandu, who is still untraced along with his co passengers and two pilots.
The members prayed to almighty Donyi Polo for the safety and security of the CM and four others.
The chairman of Kargu Gamgi, Yido Boje, meanwhile, described Pawan Hans Helicopters as killer chopper, and said that in case of any unfortunate accident, the Pawan Hans should take the full responsibilities.
He also urged the state Government to immediately terminate the contract with the Pawan Hans Service in Arunachal Pradesh.
Meanhwhiel Arunachalee students will organize a candle light vigil to pray for the safe return of the Chief Minister and his entourage. The event will take place at Arunachal Bhavan.
and state govt
ITANAGAR, May 3: NCP has said that it is very disturbing to note that the governments at the Centre and the state seem to have not employed initially all possible technological means in their command to trace out the copter. Four day period is inhumanly too long for a powerful central government to unearth a simple mystery as this, it said while demanding a high level enquiry of the incident.
It further questioned why the Chief Minister was allowed to fly in a single engine chopper which understandably was not able to surmount the weather inclemency in the route of the flight.
Can’t we reverse the careless attitude of the civil aviation in Arunachal Pradesh which, most unfortunately has earned the infamy of hosting alarming number of copter crash and related casualty since 1997 till now, he said.
The four day long suspense of the disappearance of the chopper carrying the chief minister Dorji Khandu and four others said that this unbearable hundred hour suspense has exposed the utter callousness on the part of those who man the civil chopper flight operation in the NE region, especially in Arunachal Pradesh known for its unpredictable weather conditions almost throughout the year.
AITC unit of Arunachal Pradesh expressed shock and sadness over the prolonged delay to trace out the missing chopper carrying Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, along with four others since last Saturday.
The party prayed to all mighty god for early recovery of the missing chopper and appealed all peoples of the state to stand united at this tragic critical juncture
Bharatiya Janata Party Arunachal Pradesh also expressed deep concern at the slow progress of the rescue and search operation of missing chopper. The party urged the Govt to intensified the rescue operation and prayed for safe return of Chief Minister and others on board.
Meanwhile, North East organizational in-
ITANAGAR, May 3: The Save Arunachal Forum (SAF) had demanded public apology from Arunachal Pradesh Governor Gen J J Singh for making ‘misleading statement’ regarding safe landing of chief minister Dorjee Khandu in Bhutan.
The news of safe landing in Bhutan has halted the search operation for missing chopper, the Forum said and added that Governor should make known to the public regarding the source of his information.
Pointing out the former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YSR Reddy’s single engine chopper crash incident in 2009, the Forum also questioned the state Govt why it has not learnt lesson from YSR incident. It asked why single engine chopper was being used to ferry the VVIPs over mountain region of Himalayan state.
It also demanded investigation to detect the caller’s identity who disseminated the information regarding safe landing of chopper in Upper Subansiri.
All Capital Complex Youth Welfare Association also said that state Governor should apologize to the people for his ‘wrong statement’ regarding safe landing of CM’s chopper.
Expressing concern over the delay in tracing out where about of the CM and others, the Association prayed for their safe return.
It further urged the state Govt to suspend Pawan Hans chopper service.
ITANAGAR, May 3: Concerted efforts are still on to locate the helicopter with Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu and four others on board which went missing since Saturday last, said Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee in a statement today. The crisis management group is operating round the clock to expedite and intensify the joint search and rescue operation, it said.
Local villagers, students and Congress workers of Tawang and West Kameng districts have also joined the rescue operation, the APCC added.
No stone is left unturned to make success of the joint operation, the APCC said while adding that Bhutan Govt. has also launched search operation in the areas based on the inputs provided by ISRO and Air Force.
Stating that Govt of India has extended all possible assistance in carrying out the joint operation, APCC said that the progress of rescue and search operation is very slow and hampered due to inclement weather and hostile terrain. Constant touch is being maintained with the top brass of Army, Air Force, Paramilitary Forces for close liaison, the APCC informed and said that troop has further been reinforced for search and rescue operation. Meanwhile, APCC search operation committee headed by Bayabang Nukh, general secretary incharge of Tawang, West Kameng and East Kameng districts has reached the destination to assist and supervise search operation. MP Takam Sanjoy, who is heading the APCC team and MLAs has already reached West Kameng district to assist the operation.
The MLAs of Tawang and West Kameng districts are also coordinating with the district administration of Bomdila and Tawang. Everyone is contributing their bit to locate the missing helicopter with the members on the board.
Meanwhile, APCC president Nabam Tuki has deputed APCC vice president Thupten Tempa and general secretary T C Tok to closely coordinate with the crisis management group and central leaders.
On the other hand APCC vice presidents Tatar Kipa and Padi Hinda will attend meeting of the Central teams of entire mobilization on behalf of APCC, while, APCC general secretaries Karikho Kri, and B C Tok, will coordinate with district and block level Congress committees of West Kameng and Tawang districts and search operation team. The Congress appealed to one and all to cooperate and assist the joint search and rescue operation and pray for safe return of Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party, Arunachal Pradesh has instructed its West Kameng and Tawang district units to join ongoing ground level search operation of missing chopper.
ITANAGAR, May 3: Adi Baane Kebang (ABK) has reaffirmed its earlier statement regarding Simen River as the natural and permanent boundary of East Siang district. Responding to the statement of Ramle Banggo Welfare Society on the boundary issue that “action purportedly by few individual is unnecessary and provocative” as unfortunate, ABK said if RBWS does not have the same opinion or agree with the declaration of Simen River as the boundary between the proposed Lower Siang and East Siang district, the RBWS must come out with reasoning why it do is not agree with the decision.
ABK claimed that, River Simen is the demarcated or declared boundary since pre-
It urged the RBWS to refrain from such statement, which may lead to un-
GT memorial football TPS FC beat Chandranagar
ITANAGAR, May 3: Tali Pip Sorang FC grounded Chandranagar FC by 6-
Kago Chama, Rigio Raju, Obin Hui, Rigio Tato, Tai Kunia and Tame Gunte scored a goal each for Tali Pip Sorang team while the consolation goal for Chandranagar FC was scored by A Kamin.
In another match of the day, AKWS held to a 3-
VKV Banderdewa will play against Arunachal Orphan FC in the first match tomorrow
while Gora Makik Sports Club will take on Tali Pip-
Health awareness prog
ITANAGAR, May 3: The Pombu Kow Welfare Society organized an education cum health awareness campaign in Pombu Kow area under Siyum and Nacho circles of Upper Subansiri district from April 21 to 26 last.
The members of the society assisted by Dr. B N Pombu conducted free health checkups of 570 ailing villagers. The awareness programme drew mass support from public which was conducted with help of district administration and health department, Daporijo.
Bandh call postponed
ITANAGAR, May 3: Arunachal Capital Students’ Union of Monpa (ACSUM) has postponed its proposed bandh call on May 4 as the members of the union are engaged in search operation of the chopper which went missing with CM and others on board since Saturday.
The union also appealed both the state and Central Govt to speed up search and rescue operation of the missing chopper.
Induction level training for SSA teachers begins
ITANAGAR, May 3: A 30 days induction level training for the newly recruited teachers under SSA of Kurung Kumey began at DIET, Yachuli on May one.
Inaugurating the training as chief guest, Yachuli ADC Yowa Topu suggested the trainees to be sincere, dedicated and come true to the expectation of the society.
Takam, Changdeep, DPC, SSA and Toku Tachung, coordinator (pedagogy), Kurung Kumey were also present in the training programme and suggested the trainees to be disciplined and dedicated towards their duties.
Reward for finder of missing chopper
ITANAGAR, May 3: The Monpa Social Cultural and Literary Society Tawang, has announced cash reward of Rs 5 lakh for individual or rescue team who will able to trace out the missing helicopter carrying the CM and others on board.
ITANAGAR, May 3: Bomken Tayeng, Naksa Perme and Kaling Lego have been elected as president, vice president and general secretary of Ayeng Welfare Society in its election held at Ayeng, East Siang district recently.
Copyright © 2008, The Arunachal Times Publications Pvt. Ltd., Siang House, Sector
All rights reserved.
Someone is working overtime
This is in response to one of the press release carried in your daily, dated 2nd May whereby the AdiSU (Adi Students’ Union) appeal the District Administration of East Siang to recognize some persons as the leaders of All East Siang District Students’ Union.
To bring into your notice once again, the new executive team of AESDSU has already been democratically recognized under the leadership of Tageng Nyitan based on AAPSU’s notification which has been already made available to your office.
It is also to mention that under Part-
Subsequently, the AdiSU, which is a community based student’s organisation, has no any constitutional right to do the same. This act of AdiSU is unacceptable and is a direct infringement on the role and constitutional responsibility of the dignified office of AAPSU. The AESDSU also further urges the AdiSU to confine to their jurisdiction and not to act as such which might bring confusions among the student’s community of the district. Further it is also requested to the AdiSU leadership to take back the press statement lest it may have far reaching consequences with regards to unity & integrity of student community of the Adi belt and direct bearing on the functioning of AdiSU in the district.
We also lodge our strong protest against your office that in spite of our repeated appeal and providing the entire necessary document to your office on the feud due to handiwork of some vested people, it has been observe that few people may be within your office are working overtime to bring discredit to the reputation of our union.
David Gao, General Secretary, Tageng Nyitan, President, AESDSU
You cannot wait for good weather during wars
On the first day itself when the contact from chopper was lost why the aviation control did not confirm that something really had gone wrong. Until and unless the contact machine is destroyed it does not lose signals as all authorities must be very much aware of this fact. Why did they take it so lightly?
The Indian Air force cannot carry out the operation because of bad weather. What they are trained for? You cannot wait for good weather during wars.
Our Governor must be provided with the caller ID facilities in his phone. Why can't they trace the numbers?
Chennai (On email)
Seek help from able countries to trace the chopper
We would like to highlight some points regarding the missing Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu and other four persons since last four days. It’s a matter of concern for the people of Arunachal Pradesh that our Chief Minister is still missing.
Our question is directed to various student unions, elite citizens of Arunachal Pradesh. Why they are not raising any voice against the slow operation being carried out by the Central Government and the State Government. The forces deployed in the search operation are insufficient especially from state government. We request the State government to deploy maximum forces for the operation.
It's matter of shame that Indian government who regards itself as among the super power countries is unable to come up with anything concrete. Since last Saturday, operations are being carried out but even now there is no news regarding the matter.
If a country like India does not possess any other means to trace out, then it should seek help from other nations for better technologies without any hesitation. We are not satisfied with the search operations being carried out by the Governments because even after four Days there is no news about the missing helicopter.
Moreover the official announcement made by Governor which led to stop the search operation on the missing day was a very big drawback for the search operation because within that period the weather was clear, so it may have been possible to trace out the missing helicopter. Many questions arise in our mind.
Why our country is not deploying Special Forces like NSG and other special task forces in this matter?
We wait for good news from both the State and central governments within short period of time.
Tsering Phurpa, Tsering Sangey, Leki Tsering ,
Dawa, Norbu, Tenzin
Itanagar, (on email)
We are still hopeful
Looking back at last couple of months, we witnessed some regular tragedies related to air service within Arunachal, especially involving choppers. Now the current news of another chopper tragedy and that too involving the chief minister of our state has shocked everyone deeply. But no one still knows the reason or the main cause behind it, only if provided by the aviation authority. Will such incidents keep happening all the time? If not, the aviation authorities must bring out a better system and safety measures for a safer air transport.
We the citizens do pray and hope that our chief minister and rest of the passengers that are missing are still safe and would return back soon.
A Citizen, Ziro
So what if India has failed us, mountains can’t be so rude to her finest and the most virtuous son
Even after more than 72 hours the Indian and the State governments have appallingly
failed to locate and rescue the missing Pawan Hans Helicopter Eurocopter B3 with
Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, his security officer Yeshi Choddak, the pilots – JS
Babbar and TS Mamik; Yeshi Lhamu -
It’s lamenting to report that no State higher ups visited Tawang to either console the CM’s family or expedite the matter.
It’s been wrongly quoted in several news journals and TV channels that a massive
search operation is being launched by about 2500 -
Questioning the reliability of the army and the centre, every village in Tawang and West Kameng has managed to form its own search parties comprising of 25 – 30 members each to locate their beloved CM and the other four. In reality, local civilians including government servants of the two districts have left no stone unturned to trace the missing chopper. Collating inputs from sources in Bhutan and local eye witnesses, the hunt is being operated.
Sleepless nights and profuse 24/7 effort is in progress by the local populace to locate their CM at any cost, however the ordinary people require expert support from the government as it involves tough terrains, snow and thick jungles.
Blaming the weather condition the IAF Mi172 choppers in two days (2 per day) executed
four short name sake sorties. An intriguing fact is that both the 190 Mtn. BDE and
the 40 Mtn. BDE based in Tawang have just a single non-
Such ill equipped force is supposed to rescue in a terrain like Tawang where cellular network and road connectivity is at its worst, thanks to BSNL and BRO.
The future of Arunachal is uncertain if the Chinese intrude our zone as the government
would lamely blame the acute weather conditions and the road connectivity. My question
to the Centre is -
I t’s the fourth day since the chopper carrying the CM of most strategic Arunachal Pradesh and other four have gone missing. Now I understand why we are still labeled ‘Developing’. Emergency equipments and alternative methods to combat the tough weather conditions have to be put in place. We believe that India’s strength is more than this.
On Sunday the satellite imagery by ISRO and aerial mapping by Sukhoi-
In spite of the tireless search operation carried out by local people from all walks of life to save their Chief Minister the Indian government has just exercised meager effort to rescue or trace the head of a State. Would they show similar apathy if it was the CM of Maharashtra for that matter Utter Pradesh or Bihar? The answer is a big ‘NO’. You know it why. The snail pace progress of the Centre in a State emergency of this magnitude has now created an atmosphere of skepticism amongst the citizens of Arunachal.
Merely editing a good Report for the higher authorities and to eyewash the citizens won’t conceal the ground reality.
Leave alone tracing it, I’m ashamed to disclose that we still have no clue of its where about.
Prayers are being performed by various communities and religious background all over India for his well being. In spite of the failure in locating the missing chopper, the people of Tawang are optimistic of his survival. We believe that the mountains can’t be so rude to her finest and the most virtuous son.
Tawang, (on e email)
No solution to trace-
I would like to cordially appeal to all the people of our state, please pray for
our missing CM to almighty God for his safe return soon. Don’t lose hearts; God is
always there to help us. It’s the real time to co-
Don’t call a Bandh. Go there to drop some food for those who are searching for the five of them. I don’t think Bandh call will give any solution. Now, what is happening is only due to the lack of technology and we all are following IST that’s all.
If this happened in any other developed country, they would have just taken couples of hours to find out the missing chopper.
I request fellow Arunachalees to think of better sources to find out our missing CM.
Neelam Laxman (Lachum)
Itanagar, (on email)
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