ITANAGAR, 5 Sep: The five-member team of the Tagin Cultural Society (TCS), which is overseeing the search & rescue (S&R) operation for missing mountaineer Tapi Mra and his porter Niku Dao, appealed to the East Kameng DC to immediately repair the two suspension bridges in Veo village for the safety of the porters carrying ration and other items for the S&R teams.
The team said that the two suspension bridges en route to Khyari Satam are in a dilapidated condition and may collapse any time.
It also suggested engaging more local porters, “preferably from TCC and Gellamu in Limeking circle of Upper Subansiri district.” The local porters of those areas, who are working under the Indian Army, are well-experienced in trekking in high altitudes, it said.
The team urged the EAC and assistant incident commander Abu Taba to “make arrangements through the deputy commissioner for requisitioning trained porters from TCC and Gellamu working under the Indian Army.”
Currently, only inexperienced Puroik people have been engaged as porters, the team observed.
It further stated that four porters out of the 36 who were engaged in the S&R operation “returned to the camp on 3 September on health grounds.”
There is a possibility that more porters might come back in the coming days, it added.
The team also strongly urged the assistant incident commander to “immediately set up emergency satellite communication system and control room in Veo village,” the last motorable village, where the committee members are presently camping.
Stating that there is a shortage of civilian doctors for the porters and the S&R members, the team suggested deploying a battlefield nursing assistant.
The team, led TCS HRD secretary Dosh Dasi, reached Veo village on 3 September to study and gather information regarding the operation.
It met ADC and incident commander Ranjib Chiduni, PD and planning and logistics head Ashok Tajo, EAC and assistant incident commander Taba, CO and assistant incident commander Yomgam Marde, and CO Nyalisa Raji, and discussed strategies vis-à-vis the search and rescue operation, both on foot and by helicopter.
The team also met the family members of Tapi Mra, who are presently camping in Veo village, and the sister of the missing porter, Yapik Dao.
The team members interacted with the locals of Veo village and the Puriok community there, and appealed to them to work as a team to rescue the missing Everester and his porter.
They also interacted with the police and paramilitary forces and the Arunachal Scouts & Guides currently stationed at Veo village.
The five-member committee also performed rituals in Veo village for the safety and wellbeing of the two missing persons.
The team hired renowned priest of East Kameng, Kacho Yangfo, for the rituals. Tapak Mra and Yatok Mra, the elder brother and elder sister of the missing Everester, were also present on the occasion.
The team urged the DC to “keep in touch with the first informer of the incident to gather more information.”
The other members of the team are Damkesh Maying, Tadik Nguki, Taba Kajring and Tana Yekar.