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Khandu still missing

Itanagar , May 3 (AGENCIES):
Published on 5 May. 2011 12:12 AM IST
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With the search at high altitude Banggajang and Nagarjiji yielding no results, the search teams have been concentrating at five more locations including Putujiji in Bhutan to trace out the missing chopper of Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu. After a high-level review meeting of the crisis management committee (CMC), minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office V Narayansamy told reporters that despite heavy rain, snowfall and hostile terrain, thousands of central forces besides local police and people are engaged in massive search operations to locate the single-engine 4-seater Pawan Hans chopper. Quoting Maj Gen Ojha monitoring and supervising the rescue operation at Dirang, Narayansamy said a 30-member National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) dispatched by the union Home Ministry has also joined the 3000 odd force engaged in the ground operation with the full support of Bhutan Government. “Two IAF choppers took off from Tawang but had to abandon the search operation because of inclement weather this morning,” said Narayansamy, adding that the Defence Minister and Home minister have given clear-cut instructions for extending all possible support in the search mission. “Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi have been constantly in touch with us including union ministers Mukul Wasnik and B K Handique and AICC general secretary Dr Dhaniram Shandil to get updated information,” he disclosed. When asked why China’s help is not sought to locate the chopper, Narayansamy said: “The hills in the neighbouring country are much higher for the small chopper to cross for which the CMC has ruled out the possibility of its flying to that country. But if required that possibility could be explored.” On the nontransmission of signal by the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) in the chopper in case of emergency or crash landing, he said the help of chopper manufacturer, Eurocopter will be sought in this regard. When asked if the party is considering to appoint a caretaker chief minister till a final conclusion is evolved, Narayansamy said the leadership is fully aware of the issue and act accordingly. `10 lakh award for info The Arunchal Pradesh government Tuesday announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for information about the missing helicopter. “The state government has decided to give a cash award of Rs 10 lakh for information which will lead to the finding of the missing helicopter,” government spokesman Jarbom Gamlin said. The Cultural Society of Tawang also announced Rs 5 lakh for information about the missing chopper.

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