ITANAGAR, Aug 3 - Arunachal Pradesh Government today paid tributes to Wing Commander Mandeep Singh Dhillon, Flight Lieutenant Pramod Kumar Singh and Sergeant Rajendra Yashwant Gujjar, who sacrificed their lives while on a rescue mission to evacuate stranded people in the State due to floods and landslides on July 4 last.
An IAF chopper (Advanced Light Helicopter) manned by the three crew members was evacuating people from Sagalee in Arunachal Pradesh on that fateful day. After making five sorties to Naharlagun Helipad it was returning to base late afternoon when it went missing at about 3.50 pm. Two days later the wreckage of the chopper along with bodies of the crew was located near Hostalam village, about 30 km from Itanagar.
The three IAF personnel were based at Air Force Station, Tezpur and were members of the elite �Hovering Angels�. Wing Commander Dhillon, in fact, was the Commanding Officer of Hovering Angels and one of the best pilots. At an event held at Tezpur Air Force Station today, Arunachal Minister Bamang Felix not only conveyed the gratitude of the State Government but also of the 14 lakh people of the State to the Air Force.
True to the announcement made by Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Felix today handed over a cheque of Rs 50 lakh each to the next of kin of the departed airmen. The cheques were handed over to Air Officer Commanding Air Commodore KVR Raju.