From a Correspondent
Tezpur, Aug 3: Tezpur based Air Force organized a felicitation programme on Thursday here at Air Force Station, Tezpur to pay rich tribute to the trio valor air pilots and give them due recognition for their sacrifice in evacuating people stranded due to landslides caused by heavy rainfall in Arunachal Pradesh. Unpredictable weather made chopper travel risky when it went off the radar last month. The programme was graced by a mammoth gathering, including Bamang Felix, Minister of Public Heath Engineering and Water Supply, Government of Arunachal Pradesh and officers of Air Force, Tezpur Airbase station among other dignitaries.
Attending the programme as a chief guest, Bamang Felix, Minister of Public Heath Engineering and Water Supply, Goverment of Arunachal Pradesh, presented an ex-gratia amount to the tune of Rs 50 lakh each on behalf of the Government of Arunachal Pradesh to Air Commandore KVR Raju, Vayu Sena Medal, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station, and to the next of kin of the chopper pilots, Wing Commander Mandeep Singh Dhillon, Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant PK Singh, Co-Pilot and Sergeat Rajendra Yeshwant Gujar who were killed in the chopper crash on July 4.
Addressing the gathering, Felix said that the ex-gratia was a small token of financial assistance to the family members of those who lost their near and dear ones in operation and their selfless service to the nation would be remembered. “No amount can compensate their loss and the Government of Arunachal Pradesh would remember the services of the sons of the soil,” Felix said. While talking to the media, Air Commandore KVR Raju, said that the unit was asked to take Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Operations in Itanagar Sector on the request of Arunachal Pradesh. The chopper went missing while carrying out rescue mission at Sagalee village area which was cut off from the rest of the country due to unremitting rains and flash floods.