8th Jun 2019 11:06:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

It is approaching day seven since the IAF aircraft AN-32 went missing near thickly-forested Menchuka and in spite of all efforts there is no headway till now. Anxiety has intensified over these days and until the fateful aircraft is discovered, sleepless nights are going to continue not only for the near and dear ones of the 13 passengers on board but also for the administration which is now a collective front of army, IAF, navy, paramilitary, district authorities and local people.
But despite the aura of apprehension that has gripped all and the escalating speculations whether it’s a kind of ‘Bermuda Triangle’ affair, the massive scale of rescue efforts that has been undertaken deserves kudos. IAF has deployed four Mi-17 helicopters, three advanced light helicopters, two Sukhoi-30 aircraft, one C-130 transporter aircraft and one Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Besides this it’s also using Global 5000 surveillance aircraft and NTRO spy satellites for getting better imagery on the ground. Navy is also playing their part by deploying the P8i airborne from INS Rajali. And keeping in view of the gravity of the situation IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa himself will be visiting Jorhat to review the ongoing search and rescue operations. But the fight has been a difficult one due to the inaccessible hilly terrain of the area which is sparsely populated coupled with the prevalent inclement weather.
Along with the above endeavours, Arunachal is also playing a commendable role in the rescue mission with the Siang district administration and police conducting joint search operations. And in the midst of a situation when even the most sophisticated of technological interventions have so far failed to yield anything positive, the idea of  more human intervention is gradually gaining ground. Accepting the practicality of the situation, civilians, hunters and locals have been involved in the rescue process with cash award announcement  for the informant giving any clue or whereabouts of the missing aircraft. In this context, it is worth recalling the role of local villagers in search and rescue operations of the tragic helicopter crash carrying the then Chief Minister of the state Dorjee Khandu in May 2011 in Luguthang near China border . The scale of the hunt operations also took this massive proportion and it was only after the authentic inputs from villagers, the wreckage was finally discovered.
Tackling a formidable trio of dense forest, hostile terrain and rough weather and trekking 14 hours at a stretch during  rescue undertaking  is only possible by the local villagers who know the geography  of the area  far better than  any outsider. It thus seems, it is only they who can bring an end to this mounting anxiety.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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