Police book 6 air force officers for murder after cadet dies

Updated on Sep 25, 2022 02:25 AM IST

Among those booked are officials of the ranks of air commodore, group captain and wing commander, said a senior police officer.

According to the police, the 27-year-old air force cadet was found hanging in his hostel room on Wednesday.(Representative image)
According to the police, the 27-year-old air force cadet was found hanging in his hostel room on Wednesday.(Representative image)
By, Hindustan Times, Bengaluru

Six air force officials have been booked for murder days after a 27-year-old student was found dead in the hostel of Air Force Technical College (AFTC) in Bengaluru’s Jalahalli, police said on Saturday, adding that no arrests have been made so far.

Among those booked are officials of the ranks of air commodore, group captain and wing commander, said a senior police officer.

According to the police, the 27-year-old air force cadet was found hanging in his hostel room on Wednesday. Initially, the police suspected it to be a case of suicide after a seven-page note was recovered from the hostel room that allegedly named six people — including an air commodore, a group captain and a wing commander, the officer added.

The family of the deceased, however, alleged that the cadet, who was upset after being discharged from service following a disciplinary enquiry, was murdered.

“We have registered a case of murder because the family has alleged that he was murdered by the people mentioned in the letter,” deputy commissioner of police (DCP), North, Vinayak Patil told reporters on Saturday. “We are investigating the matter and will charge sheet with the findings of our investigation.”

All six people named in the purported note have been booked under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after a case was registered at the Gangammanagudi police station, said another police officer involved in the investigation.

Police have asked for the documents related to the court of inquiry against the deceased, the DCP said. “As of now, we know that he was discharged from service following a court of inquiry. Since this is a procedure for such court martial, we have asked them for all relevant documents,” said Patil. “About the death, the cadet in his letter has alleged harassment and torture from the seniors. We have sent the letter for forensic examination.”

A senior police officer, who is part of the investigation, said that AFTC was cooperating in the probe. “Air force officials have handed over the suicide note, and two mobile phones of the victim to our station. It doesn’t look tampered with but we are getting it tested by the FSL,” the officer said, requesting anonymity. “We are also told that the officers will be available for questioning when required.”

Meanwhile talking to reporters in Bengaluru, a relative of the deceased cadet alleged that his death was “murder and not suicide”.

“While talking to me over the phone, he said he was being forced to sign certain documents,” alleged his cousin. “He was under severe mental trauma as disciplinary action was taken against him. He was earlier also terminated in July. The details of his termination cannot be shared unless his parents allow me to do so.”

The family also alleged they were not immediately informed about his death. His cousin alleged that the family had to visit the institute after multiple calls to the cadet went unanswered. “We went there around 7 pm on Friday and learnt about his death,” she alleged.

No statement was issued by the IAF or AFTC in connection with the incident till the time of going to press.

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