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May 01, 2011 at 12:37pm IST

Arunachal CM’s family prays for his safe return

Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu's family - his four wives and five children - are passing through agonizing moments and praying for his safe return as rescue teams search the mountains for his missing chopper.

While one of his wives is in New Delhi, two are in Arunachal Pradesh, and one waiting at the Guwahati airport in Assam along with two children.

"We can understand the state of mind of the family. In fact, the whole of Arunachal Pradesh is simply praying for the safe return of the chief minister and waiting to hear some good news," Nabam Tuki, a senior minister in the Dorjee Khandu-led Congress government, told IANS.

Arunachal CMâs family prays for his safe return

A Pawan Hans helicopter carrying Khandu and 4 others went missing on Saturday after taking off from Tawang.

Meanwhile, the state cabinet on Sunday barred all officials and even ministers from making any statements to the media regarding the missing helicopter.

"There were conflicting reports and statements made by many on Saturday with a rumour spread by someone that the chief minister's helicopter landed safely somewhere in Bhutan becoming an official statement. This had led to suspension of aerial and ground operations on Saturday afternoon with everyone believing the chief minister was safe," Tuki said.

"So we have asked everybody not to make any statement to the media until and unless there is some concrete news about the missing helicopter."

A Pawan Hans helicopter carrying Khandu and four others went missing after taking off from Tawang, bordering China on Saturday morning. Later in the day, officials came on record to say the chopper had been found in Bhutan, bordering the state, and all on board are safe. However, Bhutanese authorities denied finding any Indian helicopter on their territory. Search is still on to locate the chopper.

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