New Delhi: Army teams will resume the search for the bodies of Arunachal Chief Minister Khandu Dorjee and 4 others on Thursday.
Bad weather in the Sela Pass delayed the recovery of bodies. Search parties looking for Arunachal Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu are expected to reach the site today.
Officials say bad weather has been hampering the trek to the crash site that was identified on Wednesday. In all probabalility the bodies would be recovered on Thursday and the CM's body may be airlifted and brought to Itanagar.
Meanwhile, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh may be reaching Itanagar to pay last respects to Dorjee Khandu. Congress has said the decision on who takes over Khandu's chief minister post will be announced at an appropriate time.
Villagers identify Dorjee's body at crash site
Hopes of finding Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu alive are all but over with locals spotting the debris of a chopper and also five bodies near Lobuthang in Tawang district on Wednesday morning.A few hours later, villagers in the area identified one of the dead as Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu."Some villagers have reached the crash site and they had interrupted communication with the DIG at the control room. According to the communication by the villagers three bodies are charred," said Union Home Minister P Chidamabaram.Official rescue and search mission is still on at the area. Seju La, a mountain pass at a height of close to 5000 meters, is the nearest habitation to the crash site.
Three different teams of Army are trying to reach the crash site to identify and recover the bodies.
The first team is covering a distance of 10 km from Rama Sapper to Seju La across difficult geographical terrain and a second team from Jang waterfalls to Seju La - a distance of 5 km but up the mountain.
A third is also approaching Seju La from Luguthang. Hopes are pinned on the third team as the distance is only of 6 km, but a snow bound road means no vehicles, and travel on foot is hampering rescue.
"As soon as bodies are recovered, they will be brought to Itanagar," said Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region BK Handique.
As Dorjee Khandu's family members await a confirmation of their worst fears, conspiracy theories have started doing the rounds.
The Arunachal Pradesh government has announced a probe into the crash, and the Congress too has started deliberating on Dorjee's successor.
The rescue team is expected to reach Seju La by late Wednesday night and at day break on Thursday, they will climb up to the crash site and physically carry the bodies back. After which will start the process of post mortem and related investigations. Clearly the victims of the crash won't be laid to rest soon, and it's some time before the grieving families find some solace.