AN INVESTIGATIVE REPORT BY AAMIR ZAHEDI
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Acting on a tip off, Insidene has confirmed reports about a major Chinese instrumental aerial infiltration up to a distance of 100 KM inside Indian airspace in the state of Arunachal Pradesh bordering China. The instrument which was retrieved by a team of police and forest department officials led by SP, Kamle, John Pada and Bunty Tao, Range Forest Officer, Raga Forest Range of the newly found Kamle district of Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday, February 21 was first reported by locals of Repari village in the Raga area. Villagers who were on a routine firewood collection schedule saw a foreign object stuck to a tree which might have descended from the skies with either a parachute or balloon attached to it. Villagers witnessed it hanging from a tree in a hilltop of the otherwise mountainous region and feared it to be a bomb and maintained safe distance and reported the matter to the police. It has been learnt that SP John Pada immediately constituted a team after due consultation with the RFO and started a 5 hour trek to the site. Repari is in between Ziro and Daporijo and close to Tamen but the exact place of the crash down site is devoid of road connectivity and the only treacherous route to the site is through thick forests and hills.
Talking to Insidene, SP John Pada said,” We got the information after a messenger from the Repari village trekked a 5 hour route to reach our office to report the unidentified object that was witnessed on the hilltop of the village and agreed to take us to the spot. It was evening and we decided to halt for the night while I constituted a team in consultation with our RFO and started the trek very early the next day. After almost 5 hours we reached the spot and found a white box partly burnt and hastened to a plastic cloth like material with ropes. There was a number like 3000 written in the burnt out cloth whereas the box had Chinese words engraved. The box had literally opened up after an impact with the tree. We could see one black device inside. The lower compartment probably stored a battery to power the device during flight. The assessment was made examining the powdered substance which spilled over and was connected to wires”.
SP John Pada further reiterated that the biggest question is how the device which is yet to be ascertained for the purpose of being sent to India reached this part of Arunachal which is just a 100 KM from the international border and what was inside the box that made it to burn? Being on the India side close to the Chinese territory, this device could have been used for reconnaissance. But this would be early to speculate and only experts can give a better opinion”.
RFO Tao informed Insidene,” Once after reaching the spot we could ascertain the longitude and latitude coordinates for future mapping of the area is 27’44’03.4 N & 93’56’30.1 East situated at a height 3642 Ft above sea level. We are all surprised about the 100 KM aerial flight path of the equipment. I have doubt over the instrument and in the present context of frustrating diplomatic and bilateral ties between India and China and escalating border tensions, this device tied to high quality rubber and nylon ropes and all labelled in Chinese (Mandarin) language is a serious matter. I wonder where our internal agencies are who are entrusted to keep an eye over every slightest details in and around the border. There are lot of questions as to what is it exactly? How it reached here? What is inside the box? To me it appears that the box is made up of water proof plastic material. I also doubt seeing the loose copper wires coming out from the lower end of the box whether some other component which was originally attached to this box might have dismembered and fallen somewhere else!”
However on close observations of the equipments photograph collected by Insidene from the joint team of Police and RFO, an officer of the State Forensic Laboratory, Assam situated at Kahilipara on condition of anonymity said,” At first look and the cloth attached to the device connected with ropes appears to be a Radiosonde which is a battery powered telemetry instrument carried into the atmosphere by a balloon to measure atmospheric parameters and transmits back by a radio to a ground receiver. The balloon doesn’t have a predefined path but it is generally blown up to operate within a restricted air zone. In this case the crash of such Chinese equipment if truly a radiosonde and that too deep inside Indian Territory is alarming and serious in nature. It must be handed over to government agencies for proper identification”.
But Insidene inside sources in this part of Arunachal has also opined that villagers think that it might have fell or got dropped during a boom sound that occurred two years back. Later it was confirmed to be a Sonic Boom from Sukhoi fighter jet the sound of which was heard from state capital Itanagar to Daporijo. Further investigation reveals that a modern radiosondes can also measure or calculate altitude, pressure, temperature along with cosmic ray readings at high altitude and geographical positions.