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Innocent

Father of Army Pilot requests Prez to retrieve body of his son who died in Pathankot Helicopter crash

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New Delhi, Sep 20, 2021 – Forty-five days after his pilot son’s helicopter crashed into a reservoir near Punjab’s Pathankot, the grieving father reached out to President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Ram Nath Kovind with an emotional appeal to enhance efforts for recovery of the body.

Harish Joshi is the father of Capt Jayant Joshi, co-pilot of the Rudra WSI (Weapon System Integrated) helicopter that crashed on August 3 into Ranjit Sagar Lake (the dam reservoir on Ravi river), approximately 30 kms north by northeast of Pathankot. On Sunday, he made an appeal to the President on Twitter through the account of his other son, Neel.

Before Harish Joshi took to twitter, Neel had been regularly tweeting and tagging Defence Minister’s Office and Prime Minister’s Office since August 9.

As many as 12 days after the crash, i.e. on August 15, body of the helicopter pilot, Lt Col A.S. Batth, was recovered from the reservoir after the Indian Air Force had brought heavy equipment from Visakhapatnam for speeding up the underwater search operations that also involved the Army, Navy, the National Disaster Response Force, the dam authorities, along with the local police and district authorities.

Giving due credit to the Army and Navy for retrieving the body of the pilot, helicopter wreckage and even the black box, Joshi said: “We really appreciate the rigourous efforts by brave Navy personnel. Unfortunately, there is still no news about our brave pilot son.”

“The Blackbox helped know the location of the first impact, increasing the possibility of discovery of my son, who, unfortunately, remains under water.”

He also noted his wife, Col Jiwan Tara has been serving the Army for almost 40 years as an MNS officer and attended to thousands of ill and wounded soldiers. “My son was inspired by her to join the army,” he said in the Twitter thread that went viral as people responded with appreciation, sympathy, and solidarity with the grieving family.

Joshi further said: “We continue to hope and trust the defence forces’ capability and efforts to maintain the rigour of search, so that we, the parents, get our son back.”

He then requested the President to “put in a personal word to the defence forces to further enhance their efforts and if need be, quickly procure/import high end equipment to help in their search”.

“For a second generation army recruit, a trained commando, an attack pilot and a brave soldier, this is all we ask of you, and is the least the brave soldier and his grieved parents deserve,” he said.

At the end of the Twitter thread, apart from Rashtrapati Bhavan, Joshi tagged official Twitter handles of the Army’s Additional Directorate General of Public Information, the Defence Ministry, the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Army’s Western Command.  (Agency)

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