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Arunachal Pradesh

Five killed as magnitude 6.7 earthquake hits Manipur, other NE states

At least five people were killed when a strong earthquake, measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, hit Manipur and other North-Eastern states of India and neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan in the early hours of Monday.
 
Massive 6.7 quake strikes northeast India
 
At least five people were killed when a strong earthquake, measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, hit Manipur and other North-Eastern states of India and neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan in the early hours of today.
 
Official sources in Imphal said more than 45 people had been reported injured in the quake.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 24.8°N and longitude  93.5°E, occured at 0435 hours at a focal depth of 17 km.
 
According to IMD, the epicentre of the earthquake was in Tamenglong district of Manipur, about 35 km from Imphal, the state capital.
 
The tremors were also felt in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar, among other places.
 
Initial reports from Manipur spoke of damages to many buildings and houses. People in many places ran out of their homes to safety as a precautionary measure. Many people posted pictures of damaged buildings and walls with cracks on social media sites. Some government offices and a six-storeyed building in Imphal were among those affected.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke over the telephone to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on an official visit to Assam, and asked him to oversee the situation.
 
Mr. Modi also spoke to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on the situation.
 
The Manipur Government has sought the assistance of the Army and the Assam Rifles in the rescue and relief efforts.
 
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said Mr. Modi was continuously monitoring the situation.
 
Two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been instructed to move from Guwahati to the areas affected by the earthquake.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh said he had spoken to Mr. Gogoi and the Manipur Chief Secretary about the situation and assured them of all possible help from the Centre.
 
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"I'm also contacting other North Eastern states to know the extent of damage caused by the earthquake," he added.
 
In New Delhi, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is coordinating with the State Governments concerned, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Defence (Mod), NDRF, Ministry of Communications and other Departments and agencies for seach, rescue and relief efforts.
 
NDMA officials have spoken to the Control Rooms and Relief Commisioners of all the States in the North-East and West Bengal.
 
Communication systems are functioning, particularly those of state-owned BSNL, in the affected areas.
 
The National Crisis Management Committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary held a meeting here this morning to assess the situation and provide all necessary help from the Government of India.
 
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Search operations resume for missing chopper carrying Arunachal CM Dorjee Khandu

Massive search operations were resumed early Sunday morning to trace the Pawan Hans helicopter carrying Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, which went missing on Saturday while on a flight from Tawang to state capital Itanagar.

Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Dorjee Khandu.
Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Dorjee Khandu.
Massive search operations were resumed early this morning to trace the Pawan Hans helicopter carrying Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, which went missing yesterday while on a flight from Tawang to the state capital, Itanagar.

Reports from Itanagar said four Indian Air Force (IAF ) helicopters had been deployed along the Tawang-Itanagar route to look for the chopper.


On the ground, men of the Army and para-military forces have begun search operations along the Indo-Bhutan border, where the helicopter was suspected to have headed.


Apart from Mr Khandu and the two pilots, J S Babbar and K S Malick, the Chief Minister's security officer Yashi Chadook and a female passenger, identified as Yeshi Lamu, sister of Tawang MLA Tsewang Dhondup.


The state government held an emergency meeting in Itanagar yesterday evening to review the situation.


The helicopter had left Tawang around 0950 yesterday and was due to land at Itanagr at 1130 hours. The last contact with it was around 20 minutes after it took off from Tawang and it had crossed the Sela Pass.


Mr Khandu was returning from Tawang after receiving Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, who flew to Tawang yesterday to participate in a Speakers' conference there.


The Chief Minister was scheduled to participate in a May Day rally in Itanagar today.


About three hours after the helicopter was reported missing, there were reports that it had landed safely inside Bhutan, but there was no confirmation of this from Pawan Hans or from Bhutanese authorities.


The Bhutanese government has also deployed several search teams in the border area to look for the helicopter.


"The state government has been in constant touch with the Central government and the government of Bhutan as the safe landing of the Chief Minister's chopper in Bhutan is yet to be officially confirmed," a UNI report quoted Arunachal Pradesh government spokesman Jarbam Gamlin as saying.


He urged the people not to panic and to pray for the safe return of the Chief Minister and the others.


(With inputs from United News of India)


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Minor earthquake shakes Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale, shook the Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.7°N and longitude 96.0°E,  occurred at 1227 hours at a focal depth of 33 km, an IMD bulletin said.
 
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Magnitude 5.5 earthquake shakes East Kameng region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale, shook the East Kameng region of Arunachal Pradesh early this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 27.7°N and longitude 92.7°E, occurred at 0424 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin said.
 
Today's quake came a day after three tremors had shaken the state yesterday afternoon within the space of a little over half an hour. Two of them, measuring 5.6 and 3.8 on the Richter scale, occurred in East Kameng district, while the third,  measuring 4.9, occurred in the district of Kurung Kumey.
 
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Three earthquakes shake Arunachal Pradesh

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Three earthquakes, including one measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale, shook the North-East Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The first quake, of magnitude 5.6 and with its epicentre at latitude 27.7°N and longitude 92.8°E, occurred at 1452 hours in the East Kameng district at a focal depth of 10 km.
 
The second one, measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale with epicentre at latitude 27.4°N and longitude 92.9°E, occurred at 1504 hours in the same district at a depth of 10 km, a bulletin from the IMD said.
 
The third tremor occurred at 1521 hours in the district of Kurung Kumey. It had its epicentre at latitude 27.9°N and longitude 93.3°E and was recorded at a focal depth of 95 km, the bulletin added.
 
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Cabinet approves 2880 MW Dibang Multipurpose Project in Arunachal Pradesh

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved the expenditure on pre-investment activities and various clearances for Dibang Multipurpose Project (MPP) in Arunachal Pradesh for an amount of Rs 1600 crore.
 
The estimated completion period for the project shall be nine years from receipt of Government sanction.
 
The project will generate 2880 MW (12x240 MW) power to produce 11223 MU of energy in a 90% dependable year. This is the largest ever hydroelectric [roject to be constructed in India. The dam is 278 metres high and will be the highest dam in India once completed.
 
The project is located on river Dibang, in Lower Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh. The project envisages construction of a 278 m high concrete gravity dam (above deepest foundation level), six horseshoe-shaped headrace tunnels of length varying from 300 m to 600 m with 9 m dia., an underground powerhouse and six horseshoe-shaped tailrace tunnels of length varying from 320 m to 470 m with 9m dia.
 
On completion, Arunachal Pradesh government will get 12% free power from the project i.e. 1346.76 MU.
 
One percent free power (i.e. 112 MUs) will be given in Local Area Development Fund (LADF). The total value of the benefit to Arunachal Pradesh from free power and contribution to LADF will be Rs 26,785 crore over the project life of 40 years.
 
Dibang Multipurpose Project is envisaged as a storage-based hydro-electric project with flood moderation as the key objective. The construction of Dibang MPP shall prevent the sizeable downstream area from floods.
 
After implementation of the master plan of Brahmaputra Board for flood moderation of all rivers contributing to river Brahmaputra, of which Dibang MPP is one of the components, a sizable area will be protected from flooding and help in mitigating the perennial damage due to floods in Assam.
 
The project is having all statutory clearances viz. TEC, Environment Clearance, Forest Clearance (Stage-l) and Defence Clearance except for Forest Clearance (Stage-II) for seeking Investment Sanction from Government of India, an official press release said.
 
The approval of anticipated expenditure on pre-investment activities and various clearances shall enable payment towards compensation for land acquisition and R&R activities (Rs. 500.40 crore) to project affected families and state government, payment of Net Present Value (NPV) of forests, Compensatory Afforestation (CA), Catchment Area Treatment Plan (CAT) to the state government for forest lands, to secure the Forest Clearance (Stage-lI) and construction of roads and bridges for accessing project site.
 
In addition to the mandated R&R plan, it is also proposed to spend Rs. 241 crore on community and social development plan and certain concerns raised by the local people during the public hearings. It is also proposed to spend an amount of Rs. 327 lakhs on a plan for the protection of culture and identity of local people, the release added.
 
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IAF retrieves stranded rescue team from AN-32 crash site

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The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Saturday evening retrieved all the 15 members of the search and rescue team engaged in the search of the AN-32 aircraft who got stranded in the crash site along the Indo-China border, said defence spokesperson Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh.
 
Singh said the 15-member search and rescue team was camping at the crash site since June 12 due to bad weather and rains.
 
"All the 15 members of the team, including eight from the IAF, four from the Army and three other civilian rescuers, were retrieved today using ALH and Mi-17V5 helicopters," Singh said, adding that the effort to retrieve them was delayed due to inclement weather and rain.
 
"The weather condition improved slightly today, allowing the risky helicopter operations to be undertaken. We did that and the team was retrieved," he said.
 
All the members were fit and in good health, he added.
 
The ill-fated AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force went missing after taking off from the Jorhat air base in Assam for Mechuka advanced landing ground in Arunachal Pradesh on June 3.
 
The rescue team was air-dropped near the wreckage site of the aircraft on June 12 and subsequently retrieved the bodies and mortal remains of 13 air warriors on board the AN-32. However, the rescue team got stranded there due to bad weather.
 
IANS
 

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6 bodies, 7 mortal remains found at An-32 crash site

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The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Thursday said it had recovered six bodies and seven mortal remains at the site where an An-32 crashed in Arunachal Pradesh on June 3.
 
The wreckage of the aircraft was located at a remote place on June 11 and since then efforts had been on reach the site and recover the bodies, an official said. 
 
The plane was carrying 13 IAF personnel from Assam to Arunachal Pradesh.
 
IANS

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AN-32 crash: Bad weather hampers operation to retrieve bodies

Search operations to retrieve the mortal remains of six of the 13 people who were killed in the AN-32 crash on June 3 were hampered due to inclement weather in the area, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said on Saturday.
AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
Search operation to retrieve the mortal remains of six of the 13 people who were killed in the AN-32 crash on June 3 were hampered due to inclement weather in the area, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said on Saturday.
 
Seven bodies were recovered on Thursday.
 
The IAF said that Cheetah and ALH helicopters have been put on stand-by to commence the operations once the weather improves. 
 
"At present, there are low clouds associated with rain in the area. The IAF is making all efforts to retrieve the mortal remains of the deceased air-warriors. IAF personnel are in constant contact with the families of these air-warriors and they are being updated regularly. They are also being explained about the challenges about the weather," Wing Commander Puneet Chadha said in a statement.
 
On Friday, the search teams recovered the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and Flight Data Recorder (FDR) of the aircraft that crashed in Arunachal Pradesh.
 
A team of 16 mountaineers from the IAF and the Indian Army along with five civilian mountaineers are combing the site of crash 16 km north of Lipo, northeast of Tato under West Siang district, at an approximate elevation of 12,000 feet. 
 
The AN-32 took off on June 3 from the Jorhat airbase for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal's Shi-Yomi district bordering China, but lost contact with the ground agencies within 35 minutes.
 
After the disappearance of the aircraft, the IAF commenced extensive search operations under the direct supervision of the Eastern Air Command headquarters at Shillong.
 
IANS
 

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IAF says no survivors in An-32 crash of June 3

AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
The Indian Air Force (IAF) today confirmed that there were no survivors amongst the 13 people who were on board an An-32 transport aircraft that went missing in Arunachal Pradesh on June 3.
 
"Eight members of the rescue team have reached the crash site today morning. IAF is sad to inform that there are no survivors from the crash of An32," the IAF said in a post on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
There were eight members of crew and five passengers on board the aircraft.
 
"Following air-warriors lost their life in the tragic #An32 crash - W/C GM Charles, S/L H Vinod, F/L R Thapa, F/L A Tanwar, F/L S Mohanty, F/L MK Garg, WO KK Mishra, Sgt Anoop Kumar, Cpl Sherin, LAC SK Singh, LAC Pankaj, NC(E) Putali & NC(E) Rajesh Kumar," the IAF said.
 
"IAF Pays tribute to the brave Air-warriors who lost their life during the #An32 crash on 03 Jun 2019 and stands by with the families of the victims. May their soul rest in peace," it added.
 
The aircraft had gone missing on June 2 while on a flight from Jorhat in Assam to the Mechua Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The plane, which  had taken off at 12.27 pm, lost contact with the ground staff at 1.30 pm.
 
After days of search, the IAF announced on Tuesday that one of its Mi17 helicopters had spotted the wreckage of the aircraft at Lipo, northeast of Tato, at an approximate elevation of 12,000 feet.
 
Since then, hectic efforts were made to reach the site of the crash to establish the status of those on board and to search for the black box and cockpit voice recorder of the aircraft.
 
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal R. D. Mathur has been monitoring the search and rescue operations.
 
On June 8, the IAF had announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for any information leading to the location of the missing aircraft.
 
Mi-17 helocopters, Advanced Light Helicopters, SU-30 MKI, C130 and Army UAV were pressed into service during the search operations. The Indian Navy's Long Range Maritime reconnaissance aircraft P-8I and satellites were also used.
 
Besides, teams of the Indian Army, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), local police and other agencies were involved in the search operations on the ground level from the day the aircraft went missing. 
 
The search and rescue efforts were intensified after the crash site was locted. Four Garud commandos of the IAF were dropped by helicopter yesterday near the site, where a camp has been established.
 
Also yesterday, a team that included Army and civil mountaineers was airlifted to a location close to the crash site, official sources said.
 
The thickly forested mountainous terrain and inclement weather had made the task of locating and reaching the crash site extremely difficult.
 
The Air Force flies sorties regularly to forward areas to carry essential items for the troops posted there.
 
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Wreckage of missing An-32 aircraft spotted in Arunachal

AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
The Indian Air Force (IAF) said on Tuesday that it has spotted the wreckage of the AN-32 aircraft which went missing in Arunachal Pradesh on June 3 with 13 people onboard.
 
"The wreckage of the missing An-32 transporter aircraft has been spotted at Lipo, northeast of Tato, at an approximate elevation of 12,000 feet by the IAF Mi17 helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone," IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh told IANS.
 
"Our next effort is to get to the wreckage site to establish the status of the occupants and search for the black box and CVR of the ill-fated aircraft with tail number K-2752," Singh said.
 
On June 3, the Russian-origin An-32 trasnporter took off from Assam's Jorhat at 12.27 p.m. for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh's Shi-Yomi district bordering China. The aircraft lost contact with the ground staff at 1.30 p.m.
 
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal R. D. Mathur is monitoring the search and rescue operations.
 
On June 8, the IAF announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for any information leading to the location of the missing aircraft.
 
To locate the aircraft, Mi-17 helocopters, Advanced Light Helicopters, SU-30 MKI, C130 and Army UAV were pressed into service. 
 
The Indian Navy's Long Range Maritime reconnaissance aircraft P-8I and satellites were also used.
 
Besides, teams of the Indian Army, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), local police and other agencies were involved in the search operations on the ground level from the day the aircraft went missing. 
 
IANS
 

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Wreckage of AN-32 spotted in Arunachal Pradesh: IAF

AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday said it had spotted the wreckage of an AN-32 aircraft which went missing with 13 people on board on June 3 in Arunachal Pradesh.
 
The IAF tweeted: "The wreckage of the missing #An32 was spotted today 16 km north of Lipo, northeast of Tato at an approximate elevation of 12,000 ft by the IAF Mi-17 helicopter undertaking search in the expanded search zone."
 
The transport aircraft went missing on June 3 after it took off from the Jorhat Airbase in Assam for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in the West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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IAF continues search for missing AN-32

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For the seventh day on Sunday, the Indian Air Force (IAF) continued the search for its missing AN-32 transport aircraft.
 
According to an IAF statement, poor weather in the area was hampering the operation. Helicopters and transport aircraft could carry out limited operations due to low clouds and rain in the area, but the ground teams continued the search in full force. 
 
The ground teams have made considerable headway into the search area, which has been progressively expanded based on inputs from multiple sources. Search on ground will continue through the night, the statement added.
 
On Saturday, the IAF announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh for information on the location of the missing plane.
 
The transport aircraft with 13 people on board went missing on June 3 after it took off from the Jorhat Airbase in Assam for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in the West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
 
IANS

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As search for missing IAF aircraft continues, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa visits Jorhat

AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
As massive search operations continued unabated for the sixth day today for the Indian Air Force's An-32 went missing on June 3 with 13 people on board, Chief of the Air Staff B S Dhanoa visited Air Force Station Jorhat in Assam to assess the ongoing efforts.
 
He was given a detailed briefing about the operations and was apprised with the inputs received so far, an official press release said.
 
He also interacted with families of the officers and airmen who were onboard the aircraft.
 
The An-32 transport aircraft had taken off from Jorhat at 12.27 pm on Monday with 13 people on board for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The aircraft lost contact with the ground staff at 1.30 pm.
 
The IAF launched massive search operations soon after it was established that the aircraft had not reached its destination within the stipulated time.
 
Resources from various agencies, including ISRO. were brought into the operation to enhance the effectiveness of the search efforts. The area of search is mountainous and heavily forested with thick undergrowth. The weather in the area has been inclement with low clouds and rain during most hours. 
 
Combined with the inhospitable terrain, the weather has posed serious challenges to aerial search operations, the release said.
 
Search efforts by ground teams of Indian Army, ITBP, State Police and members of local population continued in full force today. However, aerial search could not be undertaken due to poor weather conditions prevailing throughout the day. 
 
The IAF has increased the deployment of its helicopters and transport aircraft and has expanded the search area significantly since the beginning of the operations. More and more area is being covered by airborne sensors and satellites and the imaging is being followed up by close analysis of the data for its synergistic amalgamation in the search operations, the release added.
 
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IAF An-32 still missing, villagers saw thick black smoke

AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
Tribal villagers had witnessed "thick black smoke" originating from a mountain towards Molo village in Arunachal Pradesh on Monday after an An-32 aircraft of the IAF lost contact with the ground staff on Monday afternoon.
 
"... three persons of Tumbin village stated that on that day and time they saw thick black smoke which was originating from a mountain about 7-8 km towards Molo village," Chief Minister Pema Khandu said on Thursday.
 
He said the statements of the villagers were being verified.
 
Three search parties - including one from Shi-Yomi district and one from the Army, were trekking to various possible locations to look for the aircraft.
 
Meanwhile, a joint effort by police, Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF) was in force to search the crashed location in an area of about 2,500 sq km in Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
 
Khandu has asked the district administrations of Siang, West Siang, Lower Siang and Shi-Yomi to intensify the search and rescue operation
 
The IAF resumed their search and rescue operations with Mi-17s and ALH helicopters pressed into service to trace the Russian-origin An-32 transporter along the thickly forested routes between Assam's Jorhat and Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh.
 
Khandu said the Deputy Commissioners of Siang and West Siang apprised him about the steps initiated by them to trace the missing aircraft.
 
"They arranged three teams consisting of 3/4 locals in each team to trace the missing aircraft and the people onboard... All the ranges being searched are in the line of aircraft route," the Chief Minister said.
 
On Monday, the An-32 took off from Assam's Jorhat at 12.27 p.m. with 13 people on board for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh's Shi-Yomi district bordering China.
 
The aircraft lost contact with the ground staff at 1.30 p.m.
 
On Tuesday, the Indian Navy's Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8i conducted an aerial survey to locate the partly upgraded An-32 plane.
 
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) satellites CARTOSAT and RISAT are also taking images of the area.
 
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal R.D. Mathur is monitoring the search and rescue operations. He has met the families of the missing IAF personnel.
 
IANS
 

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Massive search underway for missing AN-32

AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
Despite inclement weather, a massive search operation is on for an Indian Air Force (IAF) AN-32 transport aircraft with 13 people on board that went missing over Arunachal Pradesh two days ago.
 
On Wednesday, the IAF pressed into service a SU-30 jet fighter, C130 J, Mi17 and ALH helicopters to trace the missing Russian-origin transporter aircraft that was last seen on Monday afternoon. 
 
The searches were taking place along the thickly forested routes between Assam's Jorhat and Mechuka advanced landing ground in Arunachal Pradesh.
 
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) satellites -- CARTOSAT and RISAT -- were also taking images of the area.
 
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal R. D. Mathur is monitoring the search and rescue operations. He has interacted with the families of the missing IAF personnel.
 
In addition, the Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Arunachal Police and local communities were trekking on the ground to search for the missing aircraft.
 
"The search is still on but the missing AN-32 is yet to be sighted," IAF spokesperson Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh told IANS.
 
On Monday, the AN-32 trasnporter had taken off from Assam's Jorhat at 12.27 p.m. for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh's Shi-Yomi district bordering China.
 
The aircraft lost contact with the ground staff at 1.30 p.m.
 
On Tuesday, the Indian Navy's Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8i conducted an aerial survey to locate the partly upgraded AN-32 aircraft.
 
IANS
 

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No trace of IAF's missing An-32 despite massive search

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Despite a massive search operation, an Indian Air Force (IAF) An-32 aircraft that went missing with 13 people on board a day earlier near the China border in Arunachal Pradesh remained untraced on Tuesday.
 
The authorities have deployed the Navy's P-8I aircraft to find traces of the missing plane that took off from Jorhat in Assam after noon on Monday on its way to Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh but lost contact with ground agencies 35 minutes later.
 
Defence Ministry spokesman and Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said the searches were being carried out by the Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and various government and civil agencies.
 
But there was no sign of the plane or its wreckage.
 
On Tuesday, the Navy's long-range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P-8I took off from INS Rajali in Tamil Nadu to join the search and rescue operation, Singh said. 
 
Navy officials said the P-8I is equipped with sensors for maritime reconnaissance, anti-submarine operations and electronic intelligence missions. 
 
The aircraft is fully integrated with state-of-the-art sensors and highly potent anti-surface and anti-submarine weapons.
 
"The P-8I aircraft has a very powerful Synthetic Aperture Radar which shall be utilised during the SAR sweeps to locate the missing" plane, a Navy spokesman tweeted.
 
On Monday, a C-130,  an An-32 aircraft, two Mi-17 of IAF and the Army's ALH helicopters were launched to locate the missing aircraft. 
 
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has also pressed into service satellites to help the rescuers.
 
IANS
 

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Missing IAF AN-32: Search operation resumes in Arunachal

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The Indian Air Force (IAF) in association with the Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police on Tuesday resumed the search operation for the AN-32 aircraft that went missing over Arunachal Pradesh yesterday.
 
"Search and rescue (SAR) operation resumes as weather clears up on Tuesday. Two MI 17s and one ALH already deployed with the ground party of Army and ITBP," Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said, adding that more assets may be deployed if required.
 
The transporter aircraft with IAF personnel on board got airborne on Monday from Jorhat at 12.27 p.m. for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The aircraft last contacted ground agencies at around 1 p.m. Thereafter, there has been no contact with the aircraft.
 
IAF officials said that since the aircraft did not reach the destination, overdue actions were initiated by the Indian Air Force.
 
On Monday, a C-130, an AN-32 aircraft, two Mi-17 helicopters of IAF and Indian Army ALH helicopters were launched to locate the missing aircraft. Some ground reports were received on possible location of a crash site. Helicopters were routed to the location. However, no wreckage has been sighted so far, Singh said.
 
The district administration of Shi Yomi district in Arunachal Pradesh also launched a search operation along with the villagers.
 
IANS
 

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IAF's AN-32 aircraft with 13 on board goes missing in North-East

AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
AN-32 aircraft (File photo: IANS)
An AN-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) with 13 persons on board has gone missing while on a flight from Jorhat in Assam to the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
 
The 13 persons on board include eight members of the air crew and five passengers, a press release from the IAF said.
 
The aircraft got airborne from Jorhat at 1227 hours today and last contacted ground agencies at around 1300 hours.
 
"Thereafter, there was no contact with the aircraft. Since the aircraft did not reach the destination, overdue actions were initiated by Indian Air Force," the release said.
 
A C-130, an AN-32 aircraft, two Mi-17 helicopters of the IAF and Indian Army advanced light helicopters (ALHs) were launched to locate the missing aircraft. 
 
"Some ground reports were received on possible location of a crash site. Helicopters were routed to the location, however, no wreckage has been sighted so far. IAF is coordinating with Indian Army as well as various government and civil agencies to locate the missing aircraft. 
 
"The search operations from air and by ground parties of Indian Army are planned to continue through the night," the release added.
 
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has been in touch with IAF officials and is monitoring the situation.
 
"Spoke to Vice Chief of @IAF_MCC, Air Marshal Rakesh Singh Bhadauria, regarding the missing IAF An-32 Aircraft which is overdue for some hours," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"He has apprised me of the steps taken by the IAF to find the missing aircraft. I pray for the safety of all passengers on board," he added.
 
The Air Force flies sorties regularly to forward areas to carry essential items for the troops posted there.
 
NNN
 

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Arunachal Pradesh MLA, 10 others killed in militant ambush

National People's Party (NPP) MLA from Arunachal Pradesh's Khonsa West Assembly constituency, Triong Aboh who was killed along with 10 others after suspected Naga militants fired at the vehicle they were travelling in, at Bogapani in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh, on May 21, 2019. (File Photo: IANS)
National People's Party (NPP) MLA from Arunachal Pradesh's Khonsa West Assembly constituency, Triong Aboh who was killed along with 10 others after suspected Naga militants fired at the vehicle they were travelling in, at Bogapani in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh, on May 21, 2019. (File Photo: IANS)
At least 11 persons, including Arunachal Pradesh legislator Tirong Aboh, were killed in an ambush by suspected Naga militants in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday, police said.
 
Police said that Aboh and his family members were travelling from Dibrugarh in Assam to Khonsa, when their vehicle was ambushed by suspected NSCN (IM) militants at Bogapani in Tirap district, located on Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.
 
Aboh, a sitting National People's Party (NPP) MLA from Khonsa West constituency of the hill state, contested the recently held Assembly elections for a second term and received threats from the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Issak and Muivah (NSCN-IM) militants over this.
 
The police confirmed that Aboh had died, but refused to divulge details of the other victims.
 
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju confirmed the number of killed to be 11 and condemned the incident.
 
"I'm shocked and saddened by the brutal attack and tragic killing of MLA Shri Tirong Aboh of Arunachal Pradesh, his family including 11 people. Strongest possible action will be taken against those responsible for such dastardly attack," Rijiju tweeted.
 
NPP chief and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma expressed shock over the tragedy. "The NPP is extremely shocked and saddened by the news of the death of its MLA Shri Tirong Aboh (Arunachal Pradesh) and his family. We condemn the brutal attack and urge @rajnathsingh and @PMOIndia to take action against those responsible for such attack," Sangma tweeted.
 
"Extremely shocked by the unfortunate killing of Khonsa MLA Tirong Aboh and several others, by insurgents. Strongly condemn this barbarous act. Action will be initiated to hunt down the perpetrators. My heartfelt condolence & may souls of those departed rest in peace," Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu tweeted.
 
IANS
 

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Moderate earthquake jolts West Siang region of Arunachal Pradesh

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An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale, jolted the West Siang region of Arunachal Pradesh in the early hours of today.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.6°N and longitude 94.4°E, occurred at 0145 hours at a focal depth of 10 km.
 
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Indian Army patrol finds World War II aircraft wreckage in Arunachal Pradesh

A 12-member Indian Army patrol along with a police representative recovered the wreckage of a World War II vintage US Air Force aircraft in Roing district of Arunachal Pradesh on March 30, the Ministry of Defence said.
 
The patrol located the aircraft debris covered by thick undergrowth and buried under five feet of snow, the Ministry said in a press release yesterday.
 
Based on the information received from local trekkers in Lower Dibang district through the police, a special Army patrol was sent to locate the wreckage in a remote location, 30 km from Roing. 
 
The patrol moved through thick jungles and snow covered areas for eight days to trace out the wreckage.  Seldom has anyone ventured into the area that is obscured from the air due to thick foliage, it said.
 
It is expected that the discovery of the vintage aircraft will lead to the revelation of some historically significant fresh inputs, the release added.
 
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Congress manifesto document of lies: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a public rally at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh, on April 3, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a public rally at Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh, on April 3, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Terming the Congress manifesto a "dhakosla patra" (document of lies), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday accused the Congress of failing to fulfil the aspirations of the people in the northeast in 60 long years.
 
But his own government was committed to making Arunachal Pradesh and Northeast India as the gateway to East Asia, Modi told a Lok Sabha election rally at the General Ground here in East Arunachal Pradesh district.
 
"One family has ruled the country for 55 years but still they cannot claim that they have done what is required to be done for Arunachal Pradesh and other northeastern states," the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader thundered. 
 
"I am one person who is ready to take up challenges. I cannot claim that in five years I have done all that is required to be done but this 'chowkidar' is working non-stop to ensure development," said Modi. 
 
"They have released their 'ghoshna patra'. But it should be called a 'dhakosla patra'. It's full of lies."
 
Citing an example, he said the Congress manifesto in 2004 had promised to provide electricity to all households of the country by 2009. However, they repeated the assurance again in 2009.
 
In 2014, they said that 100 per cent households in urban areas and 90 per cent in rural areas will be given electricity connection. 
 
"Still 18,000 villages were yet to be connected with electricity when our government came to power in 2014," he said.
 
But the BJP government connected all these 18,000 villages with electricity within 1,000 days, he said. 
 
"Have you ever heard of me taking a vacation or leave? Have you ever seen me enjoying? Your love gives me energy to work continuously day and night. It is our commitment to make Arunachal Pradesh and other northeastern states the gateway of East Asia," he said. 
 
He said the BJP stands for the protection of the culture, tradition and history of various communities. 
 
"They (Congress) came to power for the sake of power but this 'chowkidar' is ever ready to fulfil the aspirations of the people. You have seen 60 years of Congress rule and 60 months of governance of our government. Can you tell me how many Prime Ministers came here during their rule? 
 
"I have come to Arunachal Pradesh and northeast over 30 times during last five years," he said. 
 
"The chowkidar is always awake and keeps people awake by shouting 'Jaagte Raho'. This chowkidar is here to awaken you against the false promises and lies of Congress."
 
The two Lok Sabha seats and the 60 Assembly constituencies in Arunachal Pradesh will go to polls on April 11.
 
IANS
 

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Congress will scrap Citizenship Bill forever: Rahul

File photo of Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Rahul Gandhi
Launching his party's Lok Sabha campaign for the northeast here on Tuesday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill would be scrapped if his party came to power.
 
"The BJP has said it will bring the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 if it comes to power. But we are against it. We are not going to allow this Bill. It is against the interests of the people of northeast. We will scrap it forever," said Gandhi at a public rally in the Arunachal Pradesh capital.
 
The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, failed to get it cleared by the Rajya Sabha due to opposition by some of its own allies. 
 
BJP President Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have defended the Bill and have said their party would revive it on return to power.
 
The Congress chief also promised to restore the special category status of northeastern states. "Some states require special status due to unique issues of connectivity, terrain and infrastructure. We will restore the special category status of Arunachal Pradesh and other northeastern states," said Gandhi.
 
Launching a scathing attack on the BJP, he said the RSS and the BJP wanted to push one political, cultural ideology and one thought process across the country, thereby destroying the unique cultural heritage and history of northeast.
 
"Just look at universities of the country. Merit is no longer the criteria to select the vice-chancellors. The determining criteria is their proximity to the RSS. The Planning Commission was replaced by the Niti Aayog, no one knows what this Aayog does," Gandhi said.
 
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Slamming the five years of the National Democratic Alliance government, he said, "Prime Minister Modi wants a Congress-free India. Just see how much hatred he has in his heart. We do not want to spread hatred. We don't want to destroy the BJP and the RSS. But we will not allow them to impose their ideology on people." 
 
Accusing the BJP of politicising the martyrs' sacrifice, Gandhi said, "Modiji talks about patriotism, but he was busy in shooting (film) for over three hours after the Pulwama attack took place." 
 
"Before that, a few years ago, when the Chinese President came to India and Modiji was sitting with him in Gujarat, the Chinese army entered Doklam. But Modiji did not utter a word. On the contrary, he went to China after that without any agenda. This is Modi's patriotism," Gandhi said.
 
Criticising death of three people in February during protests against grant of permanent residence certificate (PRC) to the non-Arunachal Pradesh Scheduled Tribal (APST) communities of Namsai and Changlang districts, he asked why the government did not talk to the agitators.
 
Large-scale violence against PRCs had resulted in death of three youths and a huge loss of public and private properties.
 
IANS
 

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Two BJP Ministers, 12 MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh join NPP

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In a setback to the BJP in Arunachal Pradesh, 15 of its leaders including two ministers and 12 other sitting legislators joined the National Peoples' Party (NPP) on Tuesday.
 
The mass desertion followed the Bharatiya Janata Party's decision not to grant party ticket to state General Secretary Jarpum Gamlin, state Home Minister Kumar Waii and Tourism Minister Jarkar Gamlin and several other sitting legislators for the Assembly elections.
 
The BJP's Parliamentary Board had on Sunday released a list of 54 candidates for the polls to the 60-member-assembly, which are being held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls in the state on April 11.
 
On Monday, Jarpum Gamlin dashed off his resignation letter to BJP's Arunachal President Tapir Gao. 
 
He was camping in Guwahati since Monday morning where Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma met him and other disgruntled leaders on Monday night.
 
"Jarpum, Jarkar, Kumar Waii and the 12 sitting MLAs of the BJP met the NPP General Secretary Thomas Sangma on Tuesday and joined the NPP," a senior NPP leader said in Guwahati, adding that the party is very hopeful that the inclusion of these leaders would strengthen the party.
 
Meanwhile, the NPP has decided to field candidates in all the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the northeast for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. While the party has released its list of candidates for Meghalaya, it is likely to release its list of candidates for the rest of the constituencies soon.
 
IANS
 

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