Arunachal Pradesh chopper crash : Mortal remains of seven defence personnel sent to their native places with full military honours
by Hemanta Kumar Nath, 07/10/2017, Guwahati

The mortal remain of the seven defence personnel including five Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel and two army jawans, who were died, while an IAF chopper crashed in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang region on Friday morning  have been sent to their respective native places on Saturday. A top Defence official said that, the mortal remains of the seven soldiers have been sent to their native places with full military honours from Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (LGBIA) in Guwahati. The Mi-17 V5 chopper of the IAF was crashed at Topugarh area about 130-km from Tawang nearby China border at around 6-10 am on Friday. The chopper took off around 5-10 am from Khirmu helipad and the chopper was crashed  around 6-10 am in the high-altitude of 17000 ft at Topugarh area near Yangchi, around 130-km away from Tawang along with China border due to technical snag.

In the incident, five IAF personnel Wing Commander Vikram Upadhay (pilot, hailing from New Delhi), Squardon Leader Shishir Tiwari (hailing from Indirapuram Ghaziabad), Master Warrant Officer AK Singh (hailing from Mubarakpur village in Bihar’s Chhapra district), Sgt. Gautam Kumar (hailing from Ailum village in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district), Sgt. Satish Kumar (hailing from Kasni village in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district) and Indian army officials Sep. E Balaji (hailing from Neelankori in Chennai) and Sep. HN Deka (hailing from Paghali village in Assam’s Nagaon district).Following the incident, the authorities have ordered a court probe into the crash.

Arunachal Pradesh witnessed six similar chopper and fighter jet crash incidents in past seven years. On November 19, 2010, a Mi-17 chopper of the IAF crashed close to Tawang region at Bomdir and claiming the lives of 19 people were on board.On April 19, 2011, a Mi-17 Pawan Hans helicopter crashed in Tawang and claiming the lives of 17 people. On April 30, 2011, a 5-seater single engine Pawan Hans chopper carrying former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu was crashed and five days later the dead bodies of five people recovered from dense forest area under Tawang region.

On the other hand, a Pawan Hans chopper went missing after taking off from Khonsa in Tirap district with Deputy Commissioner Kamalesh Joshi and two pilots on board along with Assam border on August 12, 2015 and later their dead bodies found from dense forest area.In this year, two pilots of IAF died after a Sukhoi-30 fighter jet crashed near the Assam-Arunachal border on May 25.On July 4, a chopper of IAF went missing near Sagalee and later four dead bodies including three IAF and one IRBn personnel recovered.