Despite all attempts by the government, the whereabouts of Tapi Mra, the first Arunachal Pradesh Everester, and his friend Niku Dao, who went missing about a month ago during an expedition to the state's yet unclimbed Mount Khyarisattam, remain unknown.
The state Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, Mama Natung said that the two mountaineers could not be located by the Army during its aerial search in the area.
The land search for the two mountaineers has now involved nine troops and three local mountaineers. He stated on Wednesday that a crew has already examined the first base camp and is on its way to the second.
The two mountaineers went missing on August 17 after leaving Sario-Saria, a hamlet in East Kameng district's Sawa circle, with seven porters for the trek on July 27.
“Even if we can’t locate the duo, the search team will look into other aspects of their survival. No stone will remain unturned to ensure their safe return,” the minister told reporters after a meeting with East Kameng district deputy commissioner P A Polumatla at Seppa.
The meeting was held to review the search and rescue operations for the famed mountaineer and his associate. “Mra is a renowned mountaineer and the pride of our state. We are concerned about his whereabouts and hope the combined efforts of the district administration, the Indian Army, and locals bear fruit," Natung said.
He stated that Mra approached the sports department about the adventure but was told to avoid summiting during the specific period owing to adverse weather.
The mountaineer, however, did not notify the East Kameng district government of his trek to Mount Khyarisattam, which stands at 6900 metres.
“We are not blaming anyone or making excuses for the official procedure not having been followed," Natung added. Mount Khyarisattam is considered sacred by the people of the district.
Nokhya Yakli, a porter from Yakli village who accompanied Mra on the expedition, informed the media that the Everester and his companion set off from the first base camp on August 17.
Porters Dangbing Saria and Adam Wallong escorted them up to the second base camp with supplies. Mra and
Dao, on the other hand, had been forced to return to the second base camp after their initial effort had failed, and they later attempted to climb the peak from the eastern side.
Yakli had stated that the two had very little food and each carried an oxygen cylinder. For the following three days, they talked to the porters at the first base camp one by walkie-talkie.
The contact was lost afterwards. The district administration along with Army personnel and locals launched search operations for the two immediately after being informed by the porters. Mra, who belongs to the state's Tagin tribe, is the first person from Arunachal Pradesh to climb Mount Everest. He had scaled Everest in 2009.
The mountaineer climbed the Imja Tse, commonly known as Island Peak in Nepal in 2007. He also made successful expeditions to Mera Peak in Nepal, Uhuru Peak in Tanzania, and Mount Kosciuszko in Australia.
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