Itanagar: 2011 was a year of loss for the people of Arunachal Pradesh as they lost their Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu in one of the two major helicopter crashes while political upheavals and the stapled visa issue with China also kept the state in news.
The year saw installation of two new chief ministers after over four months of internal strife among the members of the ruling Congress.
In one of the greatest tragedies, the state witnessed in the past decades, popular Chief Minister Khandu was killed in the crash at Lobothang near Tawang, bordering China.
The Eurocopter B3 craft ran by Pawan Hans Helicopter Services Limited, carrying him and four others went missing on April 30, shortly after take-off from Tawang. After four days of massive search, the wreckage of the chopper along with five bodies was found at Lobothang. 56-year-old Khandu, who had served in the intelligence wing of the army, was the fifth chief minister of the state.
Earlier on April 19, a Pawan Hans Mi-17 chopper crashed while landing at Tawang helipad killing 17 people including three crew members while a pilot and other five survived with serious burn injuries.
At least 15 people died in a bridge collapse at Seppa in East Kameng district on October 29 when they were on a hunting spree to catch an insect locally known as Tari, a tribal delicacy.
Political upheavals started in the state immediately after the death of Khandu with two contenders hobnobbing for the coveted post.
Immediately after Jarbom Gamlin was sworn-in as chief minister on May 5, the state witnessed a tense situation following a derogatory report published in two national dailies against the Nyishi community.