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Body charred, wallet intact: Dead IAF pilot’s father cries foul, writes to PM

“Coffin was empty, but my son’s wallet was intact” 

india Updated: Jul 06, 2017 00:16 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Sukhoi 30 Jet,Indian Air Force,IAF
Indian Air Force's Sukhoi 30 jet(PTI File Photo)

The father of the deceased Sukhoi pilot has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian Air Force chief Birender Singh Dhanoa demanding a high-level probe into the death of his son Achu Dev.

Flight Lieutenant Achu Dev (26) and Squadron Leader D Pankaj were killed after their Sukhoi 30 fighter jet crashed along the India-China border on May 23. The wreckage of the aircraft was recovered after three days and mortal remains of both were later flown to their respective destinations.

“There was no body in the coffin. I was told my son’s body was burnt beyond recognition. But the wallet recovered from the body was only slightly damaged. It is difficult to believe how the wallet was retrieved without any damage,” father VP Sahadevan, a retired employee of the ISRO, told the Hindustan Times. He claimed that in the wallet currency notes and his banks cards were intact.

He said he was not interested in making wild allegations but there were no scientific and circumstantial evidences to corroborate his son’s death. “It seems there are some attempts to cover up something. As long as I get strong evidence it is difficult for me to believe my son is dead. For me he’s still alive,” the distraught father said. Though the IAF had ordered a court of inquiry he wanted an independent probe into the mishap.

Read | Pilots of missing Sukhoi jet failed to eject before crash, died of injuries: IAF

The SU 30 jet with two pilots took off from the Tezpur airbase around 9.30 am on a routine training and surveillance mission. It lost radar and radio contact around 11.10 am near Doulasang in Arunachal Pradesh, an area adjoining the China border. “There are many unanswered questions. It seems there are some attempts to hide something. We would like to clear the air,” the father said.

Kerala opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan also sought the Defence Minister’s intervention to dispel the apprehensions of the family. CPI(M) MP A Sampath said he would take up the issue with the PM’s office.

First Published: Jul 05, 2017 16:04 IST