Neighbours said he was a jovial man, who loved his morning and evening walks, and burst into a ghazal at neigbourhood functions in the Race Course Colony. Those memories are all that remains of pilot Tejinder Singh Mamik, 48, one of the pilots flying the Pawan Hans helicopter that went down with Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorje Khandu.
When the news of the sighting of the wreckage 15,000ft near Luguthang in Tawang district reached Mamik’s Race Course Colony home, his sister Charanjeet was inconsolable. Friends, acquaintances and local politicians started pouring in after news of the sighting of the wreckage came on TV.
Family members had been praying ever since the chopper, headed for Itanagar, went missing on Saturday. Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank also stopped by to offer his condolences to the bereaved family. He announced a compensation of R2 lakh and said efforts were on to bring back Mamik’s body.
Mamik is divorced, his wife lives in Chandigarh with their two sons, Angad and Sharad, who are in class 10 and 11. Mamik, a lieutenant colonel, began working with Pawan Hans after he took a VRS from the air defence wing of the army. He was operating the Mata Vaishno Devi services of the Pawan Hans before taking up the present assignment.
Local politicians including minister Khajan Das, president of state media advisory committee Devendra Bhasin and MLA Dinesh Aggarwal also visited Mamik’s home.
Uttarakhand chief secretary Subhash Kumar has spoken to the officials of Pawan Hans Helicopter and given instructions to bring Mamik’s body to Dehradun, said Devendra Bhasin, chairman of media advisory committee.
According to an official statement, the bodies could not be retrieved in the late afternoon due to fading light and deteriorating weather.
(With inputs from agencies)