SOP issued for search and rescue operation to find ‘missing’ climbers

The East Kameng District Administration has issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for conducting the Search and Rescue (SAR) operation to trace the whereabouts of the “missing” climbers – Tapi Mra and his assistant Niku Dao.

In a notification issued on Wednesday, East Kameng Deputy Commissioner (DC) and District Magistrate (DM) Abhishek Polumatia listed a six-point SOP to trace the location of “missing” climbers.

According to the notification, the rescue team will now move to Camps 1 and 2, as the search team could not trace any signs of human presence at the base camp.

In addition, the local administration banned trekking expeditions for two months along high-altitude places of Lada, Khenewa and Sewa circles.

The order was issued after police and the Indian Army provided information that hiking routes along high-altitude sites in the region are unsafe, following incessant rains over the past two last weeks.

The administration appointed Major LP Singh of the Indian Army as the “Rescue Team Commander” and made him overall responsible for the SAR operation.

He also banned members of the rescue team from taking photos or videos of the search operation on their cellphones or personal cameras.

“Any photography/videography should only be done on the instructions of the Rescue Team Commander. All members are requested to immediately deposit their cell phones or cameras with the Rescue Team Commander,” the notification adds. .

Interestingly, Tapi Mra – the first mountaineer from Arunachal Pradesh to conquer Mount Everest; reportedly went missing with a porter – Niku Dao, while on an official mission to explore snow-capped Mount Kyari Satam, one of the highest peaks in the border state.

Mra, also Secretary General of the Arunachal Pradesh Mountaineering Association; had climbed the highest peak in the world on May 21, 2009. While this was Mra’s fourth attempt to scale the peak of Khyarii Satam.