Musa, friends rescued but trouble still far from over

United News of Bangladesh | Published: 16:19, Jun 19,2017

Musa Ibrahim

Musa Ibrahim

Bangladeshi mountaineer Musa Ibrahim and two Indians, who had remained stuck for the last few days at the base camp of Mount Carstensz Pyramid in Papua Province of Indonesia due to bad weather, were rescued on Monday morning.

In his Facebook page, the Bangladeshi mountaineer confirmed about their rescue posting pictures from Indonesian Airport.

State minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam also came up with the confirmation in his official Facebook page.

But, Musa and his Indian friend Satyarup Siddhanta in separate Facebook posts expressed their uncertainty over their smooth return to their respective countries saying AsiaOne, the helicopter company, confiscated their passports.

‘They want to charge US$ 11,000 instead of agreed $6,500. We agreed to pay $ 8,000 because that is the maximum we can pay now. So we are ideally under house arrest by Airline Company. Not sure when we can get out...bitter memories,’ Siddhanta wrote on his Facebook wall.

Musa wrote, ‘We’re under house arrest as our passports have been confiscated illegally. We’ve been rescued from the base camp but not rescued from Helicopter Company. The adventure is yet to end.’

In his previous Facebook post, Musa dedicated his success of hoisting the national flag of Bangladesh on the Mount Carstensz Pyramid to all Bangladeshis. ‘I want to share this happiness with each and every person of Bangladesh.’

The mountaineer also expressed his gratitude to State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, State minister of information and technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak, ambassador of Bangladesh to Indonesia Major General Azmal Kabir and other officials for the cordial support they extended to them.

The Bangladesh embassy in Jakarta had been in close contact with the Indonesian foreign ministry, organiser, rescue team and the local guide who were constantly coordinating with the rescue operation, a diplomat told UNB on Sunday.

The Bangladesh embassy got the news first from Musa Ibrahim’s sister and contacted the ASEAN secretariat in Jakarta and Indian embassy, since two other Indian summiteers were also stranded along with Musa.

Shahriar Alam informed the Bangladesh mission in Jakarta at 4:00am on Sunday that the weather was good and they could be evacuated.

The embassy immediately informed the organiser, rescue team and accordingly a helicopter went to rescue them on Sunday morning.

But again due to bad weather they could not landed and the pilot informed Monday morning (6:00am to 9:00am) that they will go to rescue them immediately when the weather will be suitable, said the embassy sources.

A Facebook user who is aware of the development - Noor Ayesha - wrote, ‘The summiteers of joint Bangladeshi-India Friendship expedition to Mount Carstenze Pyramid - Musa Ibrahim, Satyarup Siddhanta and Nandita Chandra sumitted on June 13 8:50am (Bangladesh time) could not be evacuated today!’

She said the helicopter took four good hours this morning to start the rescue journey just as the Timika Airport authorities took the long hours to provide permission.

The weather condition was good in the morning, but by the time the helicopter flew, the clouds formed again. As a result, the helicopter failed to reach the team and had to return to the Airport without successfully completing the mission, she said.

‘We’re grateful to our state minister for foreign affairs Md Shahriar Alam for his prompt action,’ she wrote.

Noor Ayesha urged all the friends in the media not to publish or report any misleading information related to this expedition. ‘We’re still waiting for Musa and his team to be rescued.’

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