Bhopal: Missing pilot’s father unhappy with search ops, seeks CM’s help

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jun 17, 2015 17:39 IST

The father of one of the pilots of the Indian coast guard’s Dornier aircraft which went missing during a surveillance sortie is unhappy with the search operation carried out to locate the plane.

Manoj Soni (32), a coast guard deputy commandant since 2007, was one of the three crew members on board the plane that went missing over the Bay of Bengal more than three hours after taking off from Chennai airport last week. Warships and planes are still looking for the aircraft.

Radheshyam Soni (55), who is in Chennai to keep abreast of the search operation, told HT that he didn’t see the expected level of work from the search parties and he has sought help from the PM and the CM.

“I have written to the PMO through e-mail seeking his help but I didn’t get satisfactory response from the PMO,” said Soni, who works as a master technician with BHEL, Bhopal.

He raised questions about the efficacy of the search operation and said the search agencies didn’t have enough equipment to conduct the search.

“Two days ago, a naval survey ship received signals probably emanating from the Dornier aircraft and it was estimated that signals were coming from about 900 meters deep in the ocean but the agencies did not use any such submarine, which could have detected it.”

The signal was coming from the same place, where the aircraft had lost contact with the control centre, he said.

He said he had written a letter on Tuesday to Chouhan requesting him to approach the PMO and request them to seek help of international agencies for a comprehensive search operation.

“If they are not equipped well, they should take help of international agencies to locate the missing aircraft,” he said.

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