New Delhi, May 4: Leaders across the country Wednesday mourned the death of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu in a helicopter crash.
Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, who served briefly as Arunachal Pradesh governor between September 2007 and January 2008, said Khandu came across as ‘a transparent and warm-hearted person.’
Sankaranarayanan said he had known Khandu personally and he was a popular leader who knew the pulse of the people. ‘In his demise, Arunachal Pradesh has lost a visionary leader.’
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and Governor Urmila Singh expressed shock over Khandu’s death.
Dhumal in his message said the country has lost a politician of stature. ‘It as a great loss to the country,’ he said.
The Tibetan parliament-in-exile, based in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, in a condolence message, said: ‘The state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Tibetan people have had historical relationship, which was further strengthened and deepened during the tenure of Khandu’s chief ministership.’
Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama had visited Arunachal at the invitation of Khandu in November 2009.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said: ‘Khandu was a leader who was well regarded all over the northeast.
‘While his death is a deep personal loss, it is also a great loss for the country as a whole. The people of Meghalaya join me and my colleagues in extending heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families of Khandu and the others who have died in this tragic accident.’
Khandu was on a Pawan Hans chopper, with two pilots and two other passengers on board, that went missing Saturday. Its wreckage was found Wednesday near the Jang waterfalls in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, exactly 96 hours after it lost contact with ground.
All five on board, including Khandu, are dead.