Mystery over Arunachal Pradesh CM Khandu’s whereabouts deepen

April 30th, 2011 - 7:51 pm ICT by ANI  

Itanagar, Apr 30(ANI): The mystery over Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu’s Pawan Hans Helicopter, which went missing earlier today, has deepened after the Bhutan police chief refused to confirm reports that the chopper has landed on Bhutan soil.

It was earlier reported that that the helicopter, which was flying from Tawang to Itanagar, had landed safely in Bhutan after going missing since 10a.m.

The Arunachal chief minister was expected to board a flight back to India as soon as possible.

However, India’s Ambassador to Bhutan Pavan Varma has also said that Bhutan has not reported any landing.

Khandu was accompanied by two of his personal aides. The chopper had taken off from Tawang at 9:56 am and was to land at Itanagar at 11:30 am. It was last sighted at Sela Pass, 20 minutes after taking off from Tawang.

The Army and the Air Force had also launched an operation to locate the CM’s chopper.

Khandu (56) had served in the intelligence wing of the Army and was sworn on April 9, 2007 as the fifth Chief Minister of the state, replacing Gegong Apang.

The PHHL has been operating five helicopters across Arunachal, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura and daily Guwahati-Tawang services for the past nine years. It is one of the major lifelines of the landlocked Arunachal Pradesh.

The helicopter service on the Guwahati-Tawang route was suspended in the wake of three probes being over a Pawan Hans chopper crash on April 19, killing 17 people and injuring six. (ANI)

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