Body of Dorjee Khandu airlifted to Tawang

Itanagar: The bodies of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu and four others were on Thursday airlifted by the Army to Tawang from Keyla, where the helicopter with the five on board had crashed last Saturday.

The bodies were first brought to Luguthang and then airlifted to Tawang by an Army helicopter.

Khandu’s body brought to Itanagar

Later, the body of Dorjee Khandu was brought to Itanagar in an IAF helicopter.

The body will be kept at his official bungalow till Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrives tomorrow to pay homage to the departed soul.

The MI-17 helicopter carrying Khandu’s body was accompanied by another MI-17 chopper and a helicopter from Guwahati carrying Minister of State in PMO V. Narayanswamy, Union Ministers Mukul Wasnik and Salman Khursheed, and Khandu’s elder brother Goleng Khandu.

Khandu’s body will be taken back to Tawang for the last rites.

7-day State mourning

In Delhi, Home Minister P Chidambaram said, “Arunachal Pradesh Governor J. J. Singh has been asked to take necessary consequential steps,” an indication that a new Chief Minister will be chosen.

The minister said Khandu’s body has been identified by the officials in Luguthang as well as by the family members who were airlifted there. The body of Yeshi Lhamu, sister of Tawang MLA Tsewamg Dhondup was also airlifted.

The Arunachal government has declared a 7-day State mourning from today.

The B3 single-engine and four-seater copter went missing with Khandu, his security officer Yeshi Chodak, Lhamu and two pilots after taking off from Tawang helipad and crashed in the mountains.

After a five-day search, their bodies and the wreckage of the chopper were located at Kyela, situated at an altitude of 4,500 metres, yesterday.

The other occupants of the helicopter were pilots Capt J. S. Babbar, Capt T. S. Mamik, Khandu’s security officer Yeshi Choddak and Yeshi Lhamu, sister of Tawant MLA Tsewang Dhondup.