Army takes over S&R operations to trace missing Everester Tapi Mra and Niku Dao

[ Amar Sangno ]

SEPPA, 31 Aug: The Indian Army has taken over the search and rescue operation of Everester Tapi Mra and his assistant Niku Dao at mount Khyarii Satam in East Kameng.

Mra and Dao are missing since 17 August while attempting to climb Mount Khyarii Satam from the eastern side. Poor weather condition is reportedly affecting the search and rescue operations.

Nearly 50 Indian Army personnel from 11th Para Special Forces, Dogra Regiment and Arunachal Scouts are involved in the rescue mission.

The district administration informed The Arunachal Times that high altitude acclimatized armed forces personnel are being called in and tasked with the rescue operation.

11th Para Special Forces Colonel Abhinav Verma, who is stationed at Seppa, has been made the operation head.

The entire operation is designed on two pronged strategy- the helicopter search and rescue operation and foot-based SAR operation. Helicopter SAR Op would be led by Major Navneet Singh Rana, 11 Para (SF) including 11 other ranks.

Two ALH and two Cheetah helicopters have been put on standby at Tezpur. These would be used for aerial reconnaissance of the area with one of the team members onboard once the weather is clear.

Foot-based SAR Op would be headed by Captain Longjam Posy Singh, 11 Para (SF) including three officers; 5 JCOs; 26 other ranks (total 34 personnel).

Three mountaineers Everesters Tame Bagang, Tagit Sorang and mountaineer Taru Hai would also assist the army.

A medical team will be set up in Longchu village and ambulances would be stationed at Veo village, the last road head point to Mt. Khyarii Satam.

Five satellite phones and 60 porters are arranged for supporting the foot insertion team in transporting ration, bedding, mountaineering equipment etc.

Earlier in the day, deputy commissioner Pravimal Abhishek Polumatla has constituted Incident Response System (IRS) for rescue and search operation.

The sixteen-member IRS team includes Chayang Tajo additional deputy commissioner Rajib Chiduni as incident commander, DRDA project director Asok Tajo as planning and logistic head.

The rescue team comprising armed forces, mountaineers and local experts would be leaving Seppa for Veo village under Sawa circle, a first forward point, on Thursday morning.

Chayang Tajo EAC Abu Taba who is deputy incident commander would be coordinating with the rescue and search operation team at first forward point.

Sawa circle officer Yongam Marde would be coordinating with the search operation team at Langchu village, the last village en route to mount Khyarii Satam.

Meanwhile, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) has appealed to the state govt. to accelerate the search and rescue operation.

The state’s apex students’ body has in a release on Wednesday said, “AAPSU is very much sad and concerned over the news. Team AAPSU also appeal to state govt. and public to extend their support to Arunachal’s first mount Everester Tapi Mra.”

While praying for the Evereter’s safe return, the AAPSU further appealed to the state government to announce an award for the finders/informers for early rescue process.