Search for missing Tapi Mra | IAF chopper fails to fly due to bad weather, search team on ground

By Pradeep Kumar

ITANAGAR, Aug 30: An Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter was scheduled to conduct aerial reconnaissance on Tuesday in search of noted mountaineer Tapi Mra, who has been missing along with his porter  Niku Dao for about last 13 days while on an official trip to explore snow-capped Mount Kyarisatam, one of the highest peaks of Arunachal Pradesh located in East Kameng district.

But the state government deployed chopper could not fly due to inclement weather and consistent rain, Mountaineering Association of Arunachal Pradesh (MAAP) president Sika Gapak told this daily.

Mra along with seven porters had begun his expedition to Mount Kyariisatam from Sario-Saria, a Puroik village in Sawa circle, on 27 July and forward march from the base camp on August 17.   The news had spread a shock wave across the state as Mra is first Arunachalee to conquer Mount Everest on 21st May 2009.

Thus, East Kameng DC Pravimal Abhishek Polumatla had chaired a meeting at Seppa on Monday to chalk out strategy for search and rescue mission. Accordingly, a team headed by three Everesters including Tagit Sorang & Tame Bagang along with 15 porters, launched search mission on Tuesday, Gapak said, adding the DC would be constantly monitoring movement of the team.

This Himalayan state has a unique record of 14 scaling Mountain Everest since 2019. They are: Tapi Mra (21.05.09); Tine Mena, 1st NE woman (09.05.11); Anshu Jamsenpa (12.05.11, 21.05.11, 21.05.13, 06.05.17 & 21.05.17 [only woman on earth to scale five times]; Nima Lama (17.05.13); SSB constable Tame Bagang  (21.05.13); Kalden Paljor (21.05.17); Dorjee Khandu and Tongchen Nimsonga of NIMAS (19-20.05.18), Muri Lingi (14.05.18);  Kishon Teksang & Taka Tamut (24.05.18) [Tamut without the support of Sherpa guides while Tekseng had also climbed till Camp IV (26,000 ft) without supplemental oxygen, a rare feat], Tibetan Army man Sange Dondup (2019) and Tashi Yangjom of NIMAS (14.05.21). Yangjom was ninth climber of the institute to scale Everest.

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