Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday described former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Dorjee Khandu as a visionary. Khandu died in a chopper crash on April 30.
“Dorjee Khandu had a vision for all-round development of the state and worked tirelessly. Unfortunately, he couldn’t realize that owing to his untimely death. We and the people of Arunachal Pradesh will now work to realize the unfinished task and his vision,” Singh said after Khandu was given a state funeral.
PM had Congress president Sonia Gandhi and union home minister P Chidambaram for company. They met Khandu’s wife Rinchin Drema, eldest son Pema Khandu, elder brother Goleng Khandu and nephew Jambey Tashi, a legislator, before leaving for New Delhi.
Khandu’s body was later flown to Itanagar in an IAF chopper. According to Lok Sabha MP Takam Sanjay, the last rites would be performed on May 11. Monks in Tawang would decide if Khandu’s body would be chopped into 108 pieces (as per Monpa tribal custom) or cremated (which Khandu preferred).
Post-funeral, Jarbom Gamlin, who was sworn in as the chief minister on Thursday, said his focus would be developing remote areas bordering China besides education, communication and health sectors.
“It is imperative to carry on the good work my predecessor had initiated,” Gamlin said. “I appeal to the people to work to realize his dream.”
Gamlin played down reports of Chinese incursions into India, saying there were certain spots along the border where villagers of both countries crisscross. “We pass on to New Delhi whatever information we get about the border. It is the duty of the central government to look into such issues,” he said.
China claims almost whole of Arunachal Pradesh. “Everyone must realize that we are an integral part of India,” said Gamlin.