An Air Force officer, Wing Commander Shashank Shekhar, has escaped from custody of Air Force Station, Ambala, after being arrested for deserting the force. A search operation has been launched to trace him out.
The wing commander, who was last posted at Air Force Station, Rajasansi in Amritsar, has been missing from the duty since October 24, 2011. A DDR was got registered in this regard at Police Station Guru Ramdas Ji International Airport, Amritsar.
HT was the first to report on him being missing under mysterious circumstances on March 29.
He was declared as a deserter on December 21, 2011, after a Court of Inquiry. His Indica car was found abandoned in Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) in January this year.
As per his mother Vimlesh Sharma, resident of Ambala, his son had told her that he was having lot of pressure and tension from superior authorities. He had even approached the police authorities and senior officers in the air force for the threat to his life and liberty.
She further wrote to Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana high court, “I am gravely concerned about the safety of my son and strongly apprehend that the air force authorities at Amritsar have caused harm to my son whose whereabouts are not known since 24.10.2011. I humbly plead for your kind indulgence as all my efforts to approach the air force authorities and police authorities have remained futile.”
She had even approached Commissioner of Police, Amritsar, on December 1, 2011, to request him to trace her son.
On the other hand officers at Amritsar air force station say that Wing Commander Shashank Shekhar was mentally upset due to a recent divorce. He had even faced an allegation of domestic violence.
He had also remained absent without leave while being posted at Chandigarh also, from where he was shifted to Amritsar in October, 2011.
He was apprehended from Sadanand Shantanand Asharam, Haripurakalan, in Dehradun on May 11 by provost staff of Air Force and civil police.
He was then brought to Air Force Station, Ambala, around midnight on May 12. He was medically examined and placed under custody and three officers of this station were detailed as escorts to keep the deserter under their custody.
Around midnight on May 13, the officer pretended of uneasiness and suffocation and requested the escorts sitting outside the door of the room to allow him to come out for fresh air.
On being allowed, he escaped from the custody by suddenly running away. The two escort officers chased him. However, he took advantage of the darkness and managed to give a slip to the escorts.
He was to face a trial for remaining absent without leave.
Wing Commander Shashank Shekhar joined Air Force in year 2000. He was in engineering branch.