Itanagar: Acknowledging the contributions made by the Arunachal Pradesh government and civilians in the search and rescue operation for the AN-32 aircraft that had gone missing for more than a week in June, Indian Air Force (IAF) has announced to felicitate all those who were “directly or indirectly” involved in the operation.
The felicitation programme will take place at the Advanced Landing Ground in Aalo, the district headquarters of West Siang on September 17.
This has been communicated to the state’s chief secretary Naresh Kumar and Siang deputy commissioner Rajiv Takuk in separate letters by Air Marshal Sandeep Singh.
Singh, in his letter extended gratitude to Governor Brig (Retd) BD Mishra, chief minister Pema Khandu and the government of Arunachal Pradesh for extending assistance in the search and rescue operation.
“The IAF is indeed indebted to the state administration and all personnel who were directly or indirectly involved in the operations of recovering the mortal remains along with black box and personal belongings of the crew on board. The Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Air Command would like to acknowledge these valiant efforts by felicitating the identified persons with certificates of commendation and appreciation, along with disbursement of Rs 5 lakh which was announced as cash awards towards any help in locating the crash site,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, the letter to the Siang DC also mentions the breakdown of the awards.
As per the communique, the IAF would hand over Rs 1 lakh to Siang DC Rajiv Takuk while Everester Taka Tamut, who played a major role in the rescue operation, would be felicitated with a commendation certificate and a medal along with Rs 35,000 cash.
Mountaineer Kishon Tekseng would receive the certificate of appreciation along with Rs 20,000 as cash reward while other mountaineers namely Tagung Tamut, Talik Darung and Okenma Mize will be awarded certificates of appreciation and Rs 15,000 each.
Tadut Tachung, a local of Payum village who provided the primary output of the missing plane, will be handed over a certificate of appreciation and Rs 1.5 lakh.
The awards and commendation certificates will be given away by the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Air Command.
The Russian AN-32 aircraft had gone missing 33 minutes after taking off from Assam’s Jorhat on June 3. It was headed to Mechuka in Shi-Yomi district of Arunachal Pradesh.
Following this a massive search and rescue operation was launched for the aircraft and its 13 on-board passengers. It was only after eight days of extensive search that the aircraft’s wreckage was found and the process of retrieving the bodies had started.
While six bodies were retrieved on June 19, the remaining seven were retrieved the next day.