Operation on to retrieve Arunachal chief minister’s bodyMay 5th, 2011 - 10:47 am ICT by IANS
Itanagar, May 5 (IANS) Hundreds of soldiers accompanied by local villagers early Thursday undertook an arduous uphill trek from a remote mountain terrain to carry the bodies of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu and four others who died in a helicopter crash.
“The operation to retrieve the bodies is going on in full swing. But it would take time to get the bodies from the crash site — located in very difficult and hostile terrain, to the nearest accessible point from where it could be flown to capital Itanagar,” Kiren Rijiju, adviser to the chief minister, told IANS by telephone.
Rijiju is overseeing the operation to get the bodies back from the crash site.
“The terrain is such that only people who have been to the area could possibly describe how tortuous the topography is… a distance of one km could be traversed on foot in say two to three hours time,” Rijiju said.
The wreckage of the helicopter carrying the chief minister was located by local villagers Wednesday near Lobotang, 30 km north of the 13,700 feet Sela Pass, in Tawang district. All the five bodies were mutilated and almost charred beyond recognition.
Some villagers informed the officials after sighting the wreckage and later a village leader, named Thupten, identified the chief minister’s mutilated body, leading to the confirmation.
“Maybe around afternoon we shall be able to get the bodies to the first accessible point or it might it even more,” Rijiju said.
Meanwhile, a cabinet meeting is scheduled here for 11 a.m. where three central ministers - V. Narayanaswamy, Mukul Wasnik, and Bijoy Krishna Handique - are expected to be present. Two senior All India Congress Committee leaders would also attend the meeting.
The cabinet meeting could possibly discuss selection of a new chief minister with at least six senior leaders in the race for the vacant post. They are — Urban Development Minister and President Arunachal Pradesh Congress Nabam Tuki, Power Minister and former MP Jarbom Gamlin, Home Minister Tako Dabi, Finance Minister Setong Sena, former chief minister Mukut Mithi and Lok Sabha MP Takam Sanjay.
“The Congress high command is aware of the situation, but this is not the time to discuss such things as our priority is to get the bodies and perform the last rites,” said Bijoy Krishna Handique, central minister for Development of Northeastern Region (DONER).
Chances of Nabam Tuki emerging as the unanimous choice is not ruled out as he is one of the senior Congress leaders and also the president of the state Congress party.
Some of the legislators have also sent their views to the central leadership about their choice and preference. It is likely the new chief minister would be chosen and sworn soon.
There are also chances of a caretaker chief minister being sworn in pending a final selection of a permanent chief minister by the Congress high-command.
- Hunt for new Arunachal CM on, Nabam Tuki emerging as frontrunner - May 04, 2011
- Arunachal saddened over untimely demise of Chief Minister Khandu - May 04, 2011
- Dorjee Khandu's body brought to Itanagar, last rites Friday (Lead) - May 05, 2011
- Nabam Tuki sworn in as Arunachal Pradesh CM - Nov 01, 2011
- Tribals find crashed chopper, Khandu's mutilated body (Night Lead) - May 04, 2011
- Crash site found, Khandu body identified (Afternoon Lead) - May 04, 2011
- Arunachal wreckage is finally located by locals - May 04, 2011
- PM, Sonia to pay last respects to Khandu in Itanagar - May 06, 2011
- Committed to Khandu's dream of developed Arunachal: PM (Lead) - May 06, 2011
- Khandu was one of best performing chief ministers (Obituary) - May 04, 2011
- Sonia Gandhi to nominate Arunachal chief minister - Oct 29, 2011
- Chidambaram in Arunachal - May 12, 2012
- Gamlin sworn in as Arunachal chief minister (Lead) - May 06, 2011
- Five bodies, wreckage of Dorjee Khandu's chopper found (Second Lead) - May 04, 2011
- Villagers found Khandu chopper wreckage: ITBP official - May 04, 2011
Tags: accessible point, adviser, bijoy, cabinet meeting, chief minister, committee leaders, crash site, development minister, full swing, helicopter crash, hostile terrain, india congress committee, krishna, mountain terrain, mukul, pow, topography, tuki, urban development, wreckage