The inclement weather condition on Monday, the third consecutive day, forced the Indian Air Force to abandon its aerial search mission to trace the missing helicopter carrying Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu.
However, technical help of Isro and IAF helped the authorities in narrowing down the search operation on land to three locations close to Indo-Bhutan border.
Meanwhile, following reports of an “explosion’’ being heard in the dense and hilly terrain of West Kameng district, a team of Army and ITBP personnel on Monday set off towards Banga Ganga, an area zeroed in by the security forces to carry out search operations for the chief minister. Mr Khandu’s copter is believed to have gone missing in the area. Search and rescue operations are also going on at Eagle’s Nest, also located in West Kameng district where reports of the explosion came in.
Government sources said that the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has identified a 66 sq km area, showing images of two metallic objects, of four and two metre each, and several ground teams of searchers are trying to reach the area located near Naga Jiji, which is again a heavily-forested and high altitude area. Meanwhile, inspector-general of police, Arunachal Pradesh, S.B.K. Singh has written a letter to the home ministry and state government detailing the sequence of events on Saturday which possibly led to a delay of some hours in undertaking the search operations.
Explaining the erroneous reports received by the state government when the CM’s copter went missing, he wrote, “Under these circumstances, I feel that massive search operation needs to be undertaken by the Army and police forces from tomorrow (May 1).” In his letter, he explained that the principal secretary to the chief minister had received a call saying that the CM’s helicopter had landed safely in Bhutan. Asian Age