Search and rescue team recovers belongings of ‘missing’ climbers

The 13-member search and rescue team on Monday recovered the personal effects of Everester Tapi Mra and his assistant Niku Dao from a snowy area, located a few meters from Camp-II of Mount Khyarii Satam in the district of East Kameng.

Footprints were also spotted in a few places, but the team could not confirm if the duo is alive, as no signs of human presence were found along the location.

Speaking to a press conference on Monday, Mra’s sister – Yatok Mra (Nalo) informed that the recovered belongings included – GPS devices, mobile phones, tents, boots, sticks, sleeping bags, torches, walkie-talkies, Indian flags, etc.

“They started a search operation from 4:30 a.m. and found the materials around 9:30 a.m.,” Yatok said.

It should be noted that Tapi Mra – the first mountaineer from Arunachal Pradesh to climb Mount Everest and the porter – Niku Dao have been missing since August 17, while on an official mission to explore the snow-capped Mount Kyari Satam .

Mra, who also served as the General Secretary of the Arunachal Pradesh Mountaineering Association; had climbed the highest peak in the world on May 21, 2009. While this was Mra’s fourth attempt to climb Kyarisatam.

On September 6, the district administration canceled the search and rescue operation on foot, due to incessant rain.

Meanwhile, on September 21, the search and rescue operation conducted in association with Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF) was also called off by the district administration.

This decision was taken on the basis of information received from the rescue team on the ground and the Indian army.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) of East Kameng – Pravimal Abhishek Polumatla said earlier that “our main objective was to ensure the safety of the rescue team members and not to endanger the lives of others. during the execution of the operation”.

“After reaching the Camp-2 area, the ground rescue team reported that it was extremely dangerous to go further and stay in the Camp-2 area due to bad weather, presence of crevasses and avalanches. In fact, the rescue team suffered several minor avalanches while moving near Camp-2,” the DC added.

However, the decision was strongly denounced by the Tagin Cultural Society (TCS), which later announced that a team of mountaineers led by Everester Tagit Sorang would take over the search operation and, as a result, an “obligation compensation” was also signed.

Following Monday’s significant development, the Tagin Cultural Society (TCS) has called on the state government to initiate strict action against the Deputy Commissioner of East Kameng (DC) – PA Polumatla for ignoring the appeal from Mra’s family members to involve mountaineering experts – Tagit Sorang and Taru Hai in the search and rescue (S&R) operation.

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