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PM, Sonia pay last respects to Dorjee Khandu


May 6, 2011 - Itanagar

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today paid their last respects to former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu, who was killed in a chopper crash in Luguthang near Tawang District.

They arrived at the Lilabari Airport in Assam by a special flight this morning and flew to Raj Bhavan helipad in Itanagar in IAF helicopters and drove straight to Khandu's official residence.

They were at Khandu's residence for nearly 20 minutes.

The last rites of Khandu will be performed at his native place Tawang with full state honours today.

All Central Government offices in the State will remain closed today.

The Arunachal Government has announced seven-day State mourning as a mark of respect to the late leader. The Assam Government has also announced a three-day state mourning.

A black-border obituary notification will be published in the Gazette of India Extraordinary.

After four days of intensive search by over 3,000 security forces, the wreckage of the chopper was located at Kyela on Wednesday.

The missing Pawan Hans AS350 B-3 helicopter that took off from Tawang at 9.50 a.m. on Saturday lost communication with the ground after it flew past the Sela Pass along the Chinese border about 20 to 25 minutes later. The helicopter was scheduled to land in Itanagar at 11.30 a.m. on Saturday.

Apart from Khandu, the people on board included crew members Captain J S Babbar and Captain K S Malick, Khandu's security officer Yeshi Choddak and Yeshi Lamu, sister of Tawang legislator Tsewang Dhondup.

ANI

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