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Arunachal Pradesh

Pallam Raju inaugurates BRO's longest bridge in Arunachal Padesh

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A 720-metre-long bridge in Arunachal Pradesh, built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), linking Lohit and Dibang valley, was inaugurated by Minister of State for Defence and Border Roads Development Board (BRDB) chairman M M Pallam Raju in Lohit district on Monday.

The Digaru bridge, the longest bridge constructed by the BRO ever, was undertaken by Project Udayak. The bridge, erected in extremely tough terrain, fulfills a long-felt need of the local population as well as the Army authorities. 
 
Due to bad weather in the area on Monday, the Minister’s helicopter could not take off for Tezu, but Pallam Raju decided to travel by road instead. 
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Govt. says reports about diversion of Brahmaputra by China "not correct, devoid of facts"

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The Government today said the apprehensions expressed by the Arunachal Pradesh government regarding possible diversion of the Brahmaputra by China were "not correct and devoid of facts".

The clarification by the Ministry of Water Resources came after a report in a newspaper which quoted Tako Dabi, the political adviser to the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, as saying that the peope of Pasighat town in East Siang district found that water level of the river had receded so much on Wednesday that it had almost dried up. 
 
He expressed apprehension that China could have diverted the water of the river, which is known as Yarlong Tsangpo in Tibet or that there could be some artificial blockade due to which this had happened.
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China denies visa to IAF officer from Arunachal, India calls off visit

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China has once again denied visa to an armed forces officer hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, following which India has cancelled the visit of a military delegation to the country, reports said.
 
The visit of the Integrated Defence Staff College delegation was to take place on January 10. 
 
Group Captain Mohonto Panging, an Indian Air Force officer who was to be part of the delegation, belongs to Arunachal Pradesh which China considers as disputed area. 
 
In the past also, China had denied visa to a senior army officer posted in Jammu and Kashmir. 
 
The Indian military delegation was to visit China as part of the defence exchange programme between the two countries.
 
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Indefinite blockade launched against NHPC dam in Assam

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An indefinite blockade against transportation of raw materials and equipment for an NHPC hydel power project at Gerukamukh on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border has been launched jointly by various anti-big dam organisations today.
 
Thousands of protesters have come together in north Lakhimpur district of Assam and blocked the national highway 52 that leads to the NHPC dam site in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh.
 
The blockade call has been given by several organisations, including the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP). 
 
Leaders and members of various groups, including the AASU and different political parties, have also joined the protests.
 
KMSS general secretary Akhil Gogoi said the blockade will continue till the NHPC is forced to stop their construction activities at Gerukamukh.
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"We will block all trucks and vehicles carrying raw materials and other equipment to the dam site. Of course, we will allow essentials, like ration for the workers, to move," he said.
 
Mr Gogoi said work at the transmission towers that are being built to carry the power out of the dam will also be blocked by the protesters.
 
"If we do not apply these strategies to pressurise NHPC and the government, our voices will go unheard," he added.
 
The anti-big dam protesters had forced the administration to stop a turbine-carrying truck at Lakhimpur since December 1.
 
The NHPC is building a 2000 MW hydel power project on lower Subansiri river at Gerukamukh, which has led to widespread protests in downstream areas of Assam.
 
The anti-big dam activists want a comprehensive downstream impact study before the proposed dams are built in Arunachal Pradesh.
 
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Minor quake recorded in Tawang area of Arunachal Pradesh

 

A mild earthquake, measuring 2.9 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 27.5 degrees North and longitude 92.0 degrees East, occured at 0657 hours today at a depth of 39 km, an IMD bulletin said.
 
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Minor quake recorded in Arunachal Pradesh

An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale, was recorded in Arunachal Pradesh this afternoon, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 27.2 degrees North and longitude 92.6 degrees East, occurred at 1246 hours today at a depth of 33 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Assam govt. forms GoM on big dams after protests

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The Assam Government today decided to form a Group of Ministers (GoM) to study the big dams issue even as anti-big dam protesters, led by 26 organisations, held a public rally at Lakhimpur in northern Assam.
 
The decision to form the GoM on the issue was taken at a state Cabinet meeting held at Dispur today.
 
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has been authorised to form the GoM, which will look into all issues relating to big dams and also talk to dam activists, if necessary.
 
The state Power Minister, Pradyut Bordoloi, in a separate press conference, said the government was open to talks with any person or group that had any reservation on big dams.
 
Meanwhile, 26 organisations that are protesting the Lower Subansiri Hydel Electric Project, being implemented by the NHPC at Gerukamukh in Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border, held a protest rally at Lakhimpur town today.
 
Leaders and members of the groups, including the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti and All Assam Students Union, participated in the rally.
 
Thousands of protesters had even forced the administration to halt at Lakhimpur town a truck carrying a turbine for the NHPC dam on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh since December 1.
 
The protesters were adamant about not allowing the truck to move ahead while the government was also firm on ensuring that it reached Gerukamukh, which is about three hours from Lakhimpur town.
 
Various organisations had been protesting the big dams being planned and executed in the upper reaches of Arunachal Pradesh, pointing to the devastating impacts these dams are likely to cause in downstream areas, particularly in northern Assam.
 
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Advance Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh inaugurated with landing of AN-32

Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal S. Varthaman along with the aircrew during the inauguration of the Advance Landing Ground (ALG), at Vijaynagar, Arunachal Pradesh on November 18, 2011.
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal S. Varthaman along with the aircrew during the inauguration of the Advance Landing Ground (ALG), at Vijaynagar, Arunachal Pradesh on November 18, 2011.

An AN-32 flight landed at Vijaynagar to mark the inauguration of the Advance Landing Ground (ALG) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Arunachal Pradesh today.

The facility was formally inaugurated by Arunachal Pradesh Governor Gen (Retd) J J Singh accompanied by Air Marshal S Varthaman, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command.

Lieutenant General Rameshwar Roy, Director General Assam Rifles, Air Vice Marshal K S Gill, Senior Officer-in-Charge Administration, Eastern Air Command, senior officials from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam Rifles and Indian Air Force were also present on the occasion.

Arunachal CM inducts eleven members in his new Ministry

 

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki today inducted eleven members as Cabinet Ministers in his new Ministry  in a function at Raj Bhavan here.
 
Those inducted in the Ministry included Chowna Mein, Bosiram Siram, Setong Sena, Tanga Byaling, Atum Welly, Pema Khandu, all Ministers in the previous Government.
 
Newlai Tingkhatra, Rajesh Tacho, Tapang Taloh, Jarkar Gamlin and Kamlung Mosang were the newly-inducted Ministers. 
 
Governor Gen (Retd.) J J Singh administered the oath of office and secrecy to the Ministers.
 
Tuki was sworn in as 7th Chief Minister on November 1 replacing former chief minister Jarbom Gamlin, who had resigned.
 
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Nabam Tuki sworn in as new Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh

 

Nabam Tuki was sworn in as the seventh Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh in a simple ceremony held at Darbar Hall in Raj Bhavan here this afternoon.
 
Governor Gen (Retd) J J Singh administered the oath of office and secrecy to the new Chief Minister in the presence of the three Congress observers, outgoing Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin, former Chief Minister Gegong Apang, party MLAs and other senior government officials.
 
The three Congress observers led by Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde arrived here yesterday to convey the verdict of Congress president Sonia Gandhi regarding the selection of the new leader of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP).
 
Apart from Shinde, the other two Congress observers were Dhaniram Shandil and former Union Minister and sitting MP B K Handique.
 
Ceremony over, Tuki told newsmen the rule of law would prevail and he would ensure speedy development of the state while Mr Gamlin said he would work together for the development of the state.
 
The state was passing through a leadership crisis ever since the appointment of Gamlin as the chief minister on May 4 last following the death of then Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu in a helicopter crash at Luangthang near Tawang on April 30, due to strong opposition inside the CLP. 
 
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Sonia Gandhi to nominate CLP leader in Arunachal Pradesh

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The crucial meeting between a three-member Congress team and party MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh here to find a solution to the six-month long leadership crisis in the state today authorised Congress president Sonia Gandhi to nominate next leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP).
 
Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, one of the three team members, said all the members felt Ms Gandhi should decide on the next CLP leader.
 
Out of the 60 members in the Assembly, the Congress has 42 MLAs. One MLA, Wanki Lowang, did not attend the meeting on health grounds. The rest signed in favour of the decision.
 
Assembly Speaker Wanglin Lowangdong did not have to exercise his voting right.
 
Apart from Mr Shinde, the Congress team included the party's observer for Arunachal Pradesh, Dr Dhaniram Shandil, and former Union Minister and sitting MP B K Handique.
 
The leadership problem has been there between Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin and state Congress chief Nabam Tuki since the death of then mer Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu in a chopper crash at Luangthang near Tawang on April 30.
 
Meanwhile, sources in the Governor's office said Mr Gamlin tendered his resignation to state Governor Gen (Retd) J J Singh today..
 
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Minor quake recorded in Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border region on Sunday evening

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border region yesterday evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

An IMD bulletin said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 26.9 degrees North and longitude 92.3 degrees East, occurred at 1908 hours yesterday at a depth of 5 km.

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Four bodies recovered so far in Arunachal bridge collapse

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Four bodies have so far been recovered after a hanging footbridge over river Kameng collapsed in the market area of Seppa town in East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh last evening. 
 
Police said today that the toll might go up further as a massive search operation continued to trace people reported to be missing.
 
Several people fell into the river after the collapse and might have been washed away downstream by the strong current, they said.
 
The incident occurred around 1700 hours yesterday when the children gathered on the bridge to catch a type of flying insects. The bridge was about 60-70 metres long, police said.
 
To a query about the number of victims, police said, "It is not possible to say how many had assembled there. However, the search operation is on and details are awaited."
 
Local villagers, police and divers were working on a war-footing and the Army had also been pressed into service.
 
Police said five people had been rescued so far, of whom the seriously injured had been rushed to hospitals. 
 
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Arunachal CM Jarbom Gamlin resigns: Congress looks for successor

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Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin has submitted his resignation to the Congress leadership.
 
The party has begun the exercise of finding a suitable successor for filling up the post. 
 
Party sources said Mr Gamlin had sent his resignation last night and the Congress' core committee was considering the issue. 
 
As many as 42 Congress MLAs have supported the state party president Nabam Tuki to succeed Mr Gamlin as the next Chief Minister. Mr Tuki is also believed to have the support of two Independent MLAs.
 
The leadership crisis in Arunachal aggravated when Mr Gamlin was accused of getting a senior state minister, Chowma Mein, abducted allegedly at gunpoint, the sources said. 
 
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National Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports to be set up in Arunachal Pradesh

 

The Union Cabinet today approved setting up of a National Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports (NIMAS) at Dirang in Arunachal Pradesh as an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Defence.
 
The institute will be registered society under Societies Registration Act, an official press release said.
 
The required land at Dirang for the institute has been provided by the Arunachal Pradesh government. The expenditure on construction of various buildings at the site of the institute would be Rs. 81 crore. 

Dipika Pallikal wins Orange County squash tourney in US

Dipika Pallikal
Dipika Pallikal

India's top squash player Dipika Pallikal won the 9,000 dollar WISPA Orange County Open after beating Tathreb Adel of Egypt in Irvine, California.

According to the information received here, Pallikal edged past 15-year-old Adel 11-6, 12-10, 11-9 to secure her first title of the year.

The Indian showed good form throughout the tournament and won it without conceding a set.

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Man accused of 1992 murder of Indian family in Dubai sentenced to death

A CBI court in Ahmedabad has convicted Ravjibhai Manubhai Pawar of the murder of his Indian employer and four other members of his family in Dubai in 1992 and sentenced him to death.

A press release from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that its investigations had shown that Pawar, while working as a domestic servant in Dubai, had kileld Mr Ramesh K Sagar and four others of Mr Sagar's family on January 4, 1992.

He was also accused of rape and of stealing household articles, including clothes, ornaments and cash.

Pawar feld from Dubai on January 5 and came to India. On the basis of an Interpol alert, he was nabbed on January 10 by the Gujarat police and a first information report (FIR)was registered.

Since the accused was an Indian national and the offence took place outside India, the case was entrusted to the CBI. The Dubai Police had also registered an FIR and collected evidence, which was used by the CBI during investigation and trial of the case, the release said.

The chargesheet was filed on January 23, 1992 in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chikhli. The trial court found him guilty and convicted him.

The case was registered by the CBI, Ahmedabad (now Gandhinagar) Branch on April 27, 1992 on the basis of the request and consent of the Government of Gujarat for futher investigation of the case filed at the Chikhli Police Station, the release added.

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Assam CM Gogoi meets Krishna over China dam issue

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Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi met External Affairs Minister S M Krishna here today convey his concern over reports about China building dams on the Brahmaputra, the lifeline of his state.

Mr Krishna assured Mr Gogoi that there was no cause for alarm in this regard.

Mr Gogoi expressed fears that the reported diversion of water from the river by China might adversely affect the interests of his state, which depended so much on the Brahmaputra waters.

However, Mr Krishna told Mr Gogoi that the Chinese had assured India that they were constructing only a small run-of-the river hydro project which would not affect the flow of water in the river in Assam and other lower riparian states.

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He said that, besides the Chinese assurance, the government had ascertained from its sources the factual position in the matter.

The External Affairs Minister said the Government was in constant touch with Chinese authorities over the issue and it would never overlook any development that would harm the interests of the state or any other part of the country.

Mr Krishna urged both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh Governments to plan projects to properly utilise the Brahmaputra waters.

Asked about the meeting, Mr Gogoi said Mr Krishna told him the project will not have any impact on Assam.

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CCI okays road projects in Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh

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The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI) has given its approval for the implementation of the project for the development of four-laning of the Panikoli-Rimuli section on National Highway (NH) 215 in Orissa.

The project will be implemented under Phase III of the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) on DBFOT basis in BOT (toll) mode of delivery, an official press release said.

The four-laning of the 163 km-stretch will cost Rs 1648.92 crore, an official press release added.

At its meeting here yesterday, the CCI also approved widening of the existing road from Nechipu to Hoj in Arunachal Pradesh to two-lane National Highway standards.

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The CCI gave its approval for updating the civil cost of the project to Rs 1255 crore. It will be taken up on BOT (annuity) basis under the Arunachal Pradesh Package of Roads and Highways.

The cost of the project including civil cost, land acquisition and preconstruction activities and supervision and management is Rs.1524 core.

Similarly, the CCI approved widening of the existing road from Potin to Pangin in Arunachal Pradesh (407 km) to two-lane National Highway standards.

The estimated civil cost of the project is Rs.1676 crore as on March, 2010 prices. The cost of the project including civil cost, land acquisition and preconstruction activities and supervision and management is Rs.2032 crore.

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Civil Aviation Ministry decides to increase Alliance Air services in NE region

The Ministry has decided to increase the flights of Alliance Air, a subsidiary of national carrier Air India, to Lilabari and Tezpur due to non-operation of Pawan Hans Helicopter services to Arunachal Pradesh.


Apart from the existing Kolkata-Silchar-Tezpur-Silchar-Kolkata service thrice a week, Alliance Air will now operate the following additional services:


Kolkata-Guwahati-Lilabari-Guwahati-Kolkata--- five frequencies per week).


Guwahati- Tezpur-Jorhat- Guwahati--- (two frequencies per week).


Guwahati-Lilabari-Tezpur-Guwahati--- (one frequency per week).

With these frequencies, the services to Tezpur and Lilabari will increase to six flights per week, an official press release added.


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Dorjee Khandu’s mortal remains laid to rest in Tawang

Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Dorjee Khandu.
Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Dorjee Khandu.

A pall of gloom descended over Arunachal Pradesh as the mortal remains of late Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu were laid to rest at Shebdung (Phamla) near his native village Gyangkhar in Tawang district this morning, ten days after he was killed in a helicopter crash on April 30.

The final journey of late Khandu began from his residence as smoke from Tsang rose into the sky and people waited to bid adieu to the "Laughing Buddha", as he was known.

The body was taken to the cremation ground from his residence after tributes were paid by his relatives besides new Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin and his cabinet colleagues, Speaker Wanglin Lowangdong, Congress leaders Dhaniram Shandil and Sanjoy Bapna, legislators and other senior government, police and Army officials.

Khandu’s funeral was performed as per Monpa traditions and with state honours which included funeral march by various contingents of state police and firing of several rounds into the air as a mark of respect to the departed soul.

More than 7,000 people thronged the cremation ground to pay their last respects to the late leader.

"It is the saddest day of our state and the nation as we gather here today to pay our respectful adieu to our beloved leader," Gamlin said.

"It's hard to believe that the man of his stature, who had been widely loved by the people in the state as well as the entire nation, is no more amongst us today," he said.

"In his death, the country has lost an eminent leader, an able administrator and a compassionate human being, who was committed to all round development.

"We are aware that the vacuum that has been created by his death will never be filled,'' he said, while promising to live up to the people’s aspirations by following the footsteps of late Khandu and carrying forward the dream and vision he had framed for Arunachal Pradesh.

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PM, Sonia, Chidambaram pay last respects to Khandu

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi were among the thousands of people who paid their last respects on Friday to late Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday with four others.
Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Dorjee Khandu.
Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Dorjee Khandu.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi were among the thousands of people who paid their last respects today to late Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday with four others.

Dr Singh and Ms Gandhi touched down at the helipad in the Raj Bhawan campus here at about 1030 hours, accompanied by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.

They drove down to the chief minister's official residence and paid their last respects to the departed leader.

The Central leaders also met the family of late Khandu and extended their condolences to them before flying back.

Khandu's body is now being flown to Tawang by an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter, where his last rites will be performed at his native village as per Buddhist rituals. A state funeral will be accorded to the late chief minister.

The state government has announced a three-day mourning, starting yesterday, during which the tricolour will be flown half-mast and no government entertainment programme will be organised.

All Central government offices in Arunachal Pradesh remained closed today. The national flag was flown at half-mast yesterday and today in the the capitals of all States and Union Territories.

Hundreds of admirers of Khandu have paid their last respects to their beloved leader here since yesterday. The people lined up the route from the CM's residence to the helipad in Raj Bhawan as the mortal remains of Khandu were transferred in a flower-decked vehicle.

A Pawan Hans chopper, coming from Tawang to Itanagar with Mr Khandu on board, had gone missing minutes after take-off at 0950 hours on Saturday.

Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Chairperson, National Advisory Council, Sonia Gandhi offering condolence to the family members on the demise of the former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Dorjee Khandu, in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh on May 06, 2011.
Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Chairperson, National Advisory Council, Sonia Gandhi offering condolence to the family members on the demise of the former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Dorjee Khandu, in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh on May 06, 2011.

Besides Khandu, on board were two pilots J S Babbar and T S Mammik, the chief minister’s security officer Yashi Chadook and Yeshi Lhamu, sister of Tawang MLA Tsewang Dhondup.

The wreckage and bodies were recovered by locals near Luguthang in Tawang district four days later on Wednesday after a massive search operation in which more than 3500 personnel of the Army, Air Force and para-military forces as well as the State police were involved.

Meanwhile, 50-year-old Congress leader Jarbom Gamlin was last night sworn in as the new chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh.

Mr Gamlin, the Power Minister in Khandu's Cabinet, was administered the oath of office by the Governor , General (Retd) J J Singh, in Raj Bhawan after a majority of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) members backed his candidature for the post.

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Jarbom Gamlin sworn in as new CM of Arunachal Pradesh

Jarbom Gamlin
Jarbom Gamlin

Mr Jarbom Gamlin, the Power Minister in the late Dorjee Khandu's cabinet, was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh here last night.

Mr Gamlin was administered the oath of office by Governor J J Singh at Raj Bhavan after the death of Mr Khandu in a helicopter crash on April 30.

Mr Khandu's body was recovered on Wednesday and his funeral is slated in Tawang tomorrow.

Mr Gamlin was chosen as the new leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), with a majority of the MLAs backing his candidature.

Mr Gamlin had served as Home Minister of the state in 2004-05 during the tenure of then Chief Minister Gegong Apang.

A graduate in history from St Stephen's College, Delhi and a law graduate from the Campus Law College, University of Delhi, Mr Gamlin was a member of the Lok Sabha from the state during 1999-2004.

(With inputs from United News of India)

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Govt. appoints a Committee of Inquiry to probe helicopter crash which killed Khandu

The Government has appointed a Committee of Inquiry headed by Air Marshal (Retd.) P S Ahluwalia to inquire into the circumstances of the crash of the Pawan Hans helicopter carrying Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu near Labotang on April 30 while on a flight from Tawang to Itanagar.


Mr Khandu and four others, including the two pilots, were killed in the accident.


The other members of the committee are Mr P K Chattopadhyay and Group Captain (Retd) T V Unnikrishnan. Mr A X Joseph, Senior Air Safety Officer, has been appointed as the Secretary to the committee.


An official press release said the committee would also take assistance of other experts and agencies whenever required. Its headquarters will be in New Delhi.


The committee will subit its report to the Central Government within three months, the release said.


"Keeping in view the circumstances of the sad and tragic accident and fatalities involved, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has found it expedient to institute a Committee of Inquiry under Rule 74 of Aircraft Rules, 1937 to investigate and determine the cause and contributory factors leading to the accident and make recommendations to avoid recurrence of such accidents in future," it said.


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Arunachal Pradesh mourns Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu's death

The mortal remains of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday, were on Thursday flown to state capital Itanagar as a pall of gloom descended on the entire state.
Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Dorjee Khandu.
Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Dorjee Khandu.

The mortal remains of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday, were today flown to state capital Itanagar as a pall of gloom descended on the entire state.

An Mi17 chopper of the Indian Air Force (IAF) flew the body of the 56-year-old late chief minister from Tawang to Itanagar and reached the capital city at about 1315 hours.

Khandu's family members and several top politicians of the state, including Lok Sabha MP Takam Sanjay, arrived here with the body.

The IAF chopper landed at the helipad in the Raj Bhawan campus of the capital, where Governor JJ Singh paid his last respects to the late chief minister.

The body was taken to the chief minister's official residence in a flower-decked open vehicle as people lined up streets to catch a last glimpse of their beloved leader.

A complete spontaneous shutdown was observed across Itanagar, with all business establishments and educational institutions remaining closed and commercial vehicles staying off the roads.

The body will lie in state in the CM’s official residence till tomorrow, before it is flown back to Tawang for cremation at Khandu's native village there as per Buddhist rituals.

A state funeral will be accorded to the late chief minister.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi will fly to Itanagar tomorrow pay their last respects.

The state government has announced seven days mourning, during which the national flag will be flown half-mast and no government entertainment programme will be held.

All Central Government offices in Arunachal Pradesh will remain closed tomorrow. The national flag flew at half-mast today in the state and in the capitals of all States and Union Territories.

Meanwhile, state PWD minister and Pradesh Congress chief Nabam Tuki was named the caretaker chief minister after a meeting of the state Cabinet here.

Tuki will be administered the oath of office and secrecy by the Governor later in the evening.

Earlier, Khandu’s body was flown to Tawang early this morning by an IAF chopper after it was transferred to Luguthang helipad by ground search parties.

Earlier, a rescue team had transferred the mortal remains of Khandu and the four others who had died with him from the crash site to the nearest helipad at Luguthang, about 3 km away.

The body of Khandu was recovered yesterday near Luguthang, in Thimbu circle of Tawang district, along with those of the four others who were flying with him in the ill-fated Pawan Hans helicopter that had crashed on Saturday morning.

The chopper, coming from Tawang to Itanagar, with Khandu on board had gone missing over Sela Pass some 20 minuts after take-off at 0950 hours on Saturday.

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