New Delhi, September 25
The Bengaluru police have registered a case of murder against six Indian Air Force officials after a 27-year-old trainee cadet was found dead in one of the rooms of Air Force Technical College (AFTC) on September 21.
Cadet Ankit Kumar Jha’s body was found hanging in his room from where the police also recovered a seven-page note, a news agency reported citing police officials in Bengaluru. The IAF said the training of Under Trainee Flying Officer Ankit was terminated on September 20 on the recommendations of a CoI. The Court of Inquiry was instituted to probe a complaint lodged by a fellow woman trainee officer against Ankit on June 30.
“It had been established that the UFTO (Ankit) had committed certain acts of misconduct. The inquiry proceedings were duly examined at multiple levels before being approved at the Air Force headquarters as per procedure,” the IAF said. Ankit had joined the IAF in February 2021.
The IAF said as per the existing norms, an Air Force officer was deputed to convey the news of Ankit’s death to his parents in New Delhi. It said a post-mortem was conducted on September 23, the report of which was awaited.
A Court of Inquiry was underway to establish the circumstances leading to the cadet’s death, the IAF said, adding they were cooperating with the investigation being conducted by the police.
The complaint of murder was lodged by Ankit’s brother Aman Jha, who also alleged that attempts were made to tamper with evidence as “people from the AFTC were present around 4.30 am on Saturday at the police station in Jalahalli, a Bengaluru suburb, with a piece of evidence he was also looking for”. He even “wondered how the people from the AFTC knew beforehand about his presence at the police station in the early hours and reached there”.
The Air Force has initiated a Court of Inquiry against the six officers even as the police have launched a parallel investigation. The officers, however, were yet to be arrested, said officials.
The complainant is learnt to have demanded that the autopsy be put on hold as the case needed to be probed by the CBI. The police, awaiting post-mortem report, said the Air Force had assured them of all assistance.
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