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5 days on, reward to trace missing Arunachal CM


Sumon K Chakrabarti,CNN-IBN
May 04, 2011 at 10:38am IST

New Delhi: It has been five days since Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu's chopper went missing, but the search is still on for him.

A desperate search is on not just by the Indian paramilitary forces but also by Bhutanese teams. Bad weather conditions have been hampering search operations that have been on since April 30. The state government has declared a cash award of Rs 10 lakh for any information.

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IAF presses 6 choppers to search Dorjee's helicopter

On Wednesday, two MI17, two cheetah helicopters and two cheetak from Tawang and Tezpur took off again in an attempt to search the area.

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Out of seven locations identified by ISRO and Sukhoi, four have been done and search for three other locations were taken up on Wednesday.

Khandu and his aides were missing from Shela Pass near Tawang on Saturday and on Tuesday, rescuers entered Bhutan to look for him.

ALSO SEE Dalai Lama prays for safe return of Khandu

On Tuesday, 31 Army columns, 3 ITBP columns and 6 SSB columns searched the Nagar Jiji area along the India-Bhutan border after ISRO images revealed metallic debris there.

But no trace of the chopper was found despite a search up to 14000 feet high. The government has now begun search operations inside Bhutan, and Bhutan army and police are also involved in the search.

The search has now been narrowed to Patu Jiji after ISRO images showed fresh metallic debris in the area but bad weather continues to be a hindrance.

As the ground parties struggle with the terrain, air searches have also proved ineffective.

Army, Air Force, ITBP, local Arunachal administration, Bhutanese government, all possible help is being extended to look for the missing chopper, but more than 90 hours later, there is still no sign of the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, and as rescue and search operations enter day 5, hopes of a positive outcome are fading fast.

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