Garhshankar (Hoshiarpur): Even as the Indian Air Force (IAF) declared 29 personnel onboard the missing AN-32 as ‘dead’, the family of IAF young recruit Navjot Thakur was still hopeful of some miracle and claimed that they were not aware of any ‘official confirmation’ by the IAF authorities till Thursday evening.
The family of Navjot Thakur (20) at Garhshankar in Hoshiarpur district said that they were regularly in touch with the IAF officials but did not receive any such information. “Infact, we are in contact with the families of all the 29 missing personnel and nobody shared this information so far”, said Shiv Raj, the maternal uncle of Navjot.
Shiv Raj said, “We had been receiving routine information about the search operation of AN-32 from the IAF officials from Car Nicobar Air base almost everyday. But, we are not aware of any such information.”
Another maternal cousin of the recruit, Diksha rather said that the IAF officials had sent documents pertaining to salary and other benefits to his mother some time ago. “We were informed that the IAF authorities cannot declare anybody dead till the next three years”, she said.
It is pertinent to mention here that the IAF authorities have informed the family members of those onboard AN-32 transport aircraft that there were no chances of survival anymore. The IAF authorities had sent letters of ‘Presumption of Demise’, highlighting the Court of Inquiry and efforts to locate the aircraft during the past two months.
Navjot Thakur joined the IAF as a Non Commissioned entry on August 8, 2015 after which he was first posted to Port Blair. He completed his class XII last year and his IAF training three months ago. It was learnt that Navjot’s mother, Narita was not in a stable condition ever since her son went missing.
The only child of a single mother, Navjot grew up at his maternal parents’ home at Bhatta Mohalla of Ward No 12 in Garhshankar.
The young recruit followed in the footsteps of his maternal uncle Rana Ranjit Singh, who was also serving with the IAF. Incidentally, Navjot had last visited home in the month of June to celebrate his birthday.
On July 22, AN-32 carrying 29 personnel went missing over the Bay of Bengal while on way to Port Blair from Tambaram air base in Tamil Nadu.
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