Search teams in India on Wednesday found the body of the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh state among the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed four days ago.
Dorjee Khandu, a member of the ruling Congress party, was identified at the remote, mountainous site in northeast India along with his security guard, the two pilots and one other passenger.
"A group of villagers reached the scene and found the chief minister's body and also the four other bodies which were badly burnt," former state chief minister Mukut Mithi told reporters.
"They communicated the information to the search control room."
Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the news was "sad and grim".
Dorjee Khandu was appointed in 2007 as chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, a remote state which is claimed by China, and he was re-elected in 2009.
The helicopter lost contact with air traffic control in bad weather on Saturday morning soon after take-off from the Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh, near the Chinese border. It was heading to the state capital Itanagar.
Searches by Indian Air Force helicopters had earlier been hampered by continuing poor weather and special satellite images had also failed to find the wreckage.
Thousands of soldiers, police and villagers conducted searches through the difficult terrain under the helicopter's planned route, while neighbouring Bhutan also sent out patrols.
The single-engine helicopter disappeared after another crashed in Tawang on April 19, killing 17 people and injuring six.
Both aircraft were operated by Pawan Hans, a service which provides one of the major air links across the isolated northeastern region of India.
Source: AFP South Asian Edition