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IAF offers Rs 5 lakh reward for info on missing AN-32 as Arunachal govt enlists village headmen in search ops

IANS  |  Itanagar/New Delhi 

Five days after an went missing, the government on Saturday engaged local village headmen in on the ground even as the IAF announced a Rs five lakh reward for any information about the ill-fated plane.

Air Marshal R.D. Mathur, Air Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Air Command, has announced a cash reward of Rs five lakh for persons or groups who provide credible information about the lost

Finders may contact the on the following numbers - Landline: 0378-3222164, Mobile: 9436499477 / 9402077267 / 9402132477, an statement said.

The administration of district in also announced a Rs 50,000 reward to motivate people and local villagers to search for the which has been missing since Monday in an area close to the India-border.

Along with the aerial operation using sophisticated technologies and satellites of the Indian Space Research Organisation, several teams involving the civil administration, police and local people have been assisting the on the ground in and around the jungles of Mechuka to search for the missing aircraft.

"The ongoing is being carried out by a team consisting of police, civilians, hunters and locals who have been continuously scouting the area. Additionally, all 'Gaon Burhas' (GBs or village headmen) have been engaged to aid the search operation," said a

Air on Saturday also visited Air Force Station Jorhat to take stock of the

He was given a detailed briefing about the operation and was apprised with inputs received so far. He also met the families of the officers and airmen who were on board the aircraft.

The search for the missing continued for the sixth day on Saturday. Due to poor weather conditions prevailing throughout the day, could not be undertaken, an IAF statement said.

However, by ground teams of the Indian Army, ITBP, state police and locals continued in full force.

On June 3, the transport plane with 13 people on board took off from Jorhat Airbase in for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in the West district of

The plane disappeared from the radar and immediately the IAF launched a to trace its whereabouts.

The is mountainous and heavily forested with thick undergrowth. The weather in the area has been inclement with low clouds and rain during most hours. Combined with the inhospitable terrain, the weather has posed serious challenges to operations, the IAF said.

More areas were being covered by airborne sensors and satellites and the is being followed up by close analysis of the data for its synergistic amalgamation in the

After bad weather hampered the search for the missing transport aircraft and the 13 air warriors on board, the operation resumed at noon as the weather improved.

ISRO has also used its RISAT satellite to try and trace the missing aircraft. However, all efforts have so far failed to track down the plane.

Some of the family members of those on board the aircraft have already reached Jorhat and are waiting anxiously for any news.

The IAF said that it is not sparing any effort in locating the missing air warriors. "We stand in support of the families in these difficult times," the IAF said.

The IAF has already deployed four choppers, three Advanced Light Helicopters, two Su-30 MKI, one transporter, two Cheetah helicopters and one Army Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to carry out the search.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 08 2019. 23:14 IST