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Posted at: May 23, 2019, 7:01 AM; last updated: May 23, 2019, 10:00 AM (IST)

IAF Chief to lead ‘missing man’ flight to honour Sqn Ldr Ahuja

Will mark 20 years since the officer was killed by Pak troops
IAF Chief to lead ‘missing man’ flight to honour Sqn Ldr Ahuja
Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 22

Exactly 20 years after Pakistan had downed an Indian Air Force plane and later killed Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa will himself lead the ‘missing man formation’ flight on May 27.

The IAF Chief was then commanding the Golden Arrows Squadron based in Srinagar and Squadron Leader Ahuja was the Flight Commander. He was later awarded Vir Chakra posthumously for his effort during the Kargil conflict in 1999.

The formation flying will be carried out at the Air Force Station in Bathinda, which was the home base of the Golden Arrows Squadron before it was forward located to Srinagar at the onset of the Kargil conflict. 

The ‘missing man’ flypast is an aerial salute to honour the fallen comrades-in-arms.

 Squadron Leader Ahuja’s wife Alka and his son Ankur are expected to be present at the flypast.

On May 27, 1999, Squadron Leader Ahuja was shot dead by Pakistani soldiers after he had ejected over the Batalik sector along the Line of Control, 200 km north-east of Leh in Jammu & Kashmir. 

He had parachuted on ground but was tortured to death by Pakistani troops.

Also, on May 28, the IAF Chief will fly in a helicopter formation from Sarsawa near Saharanpur. This will also be exactly 20 years from the day when an IAF Mi-17 helicopter, that was on a sortie, was shot down on the Indian side of the Line of Control.

 Four personnel, including the helicopter’s two pilots, had perished. The helicopter had come under fire 6-7 km north of Drass. The helicopter was part of the operations against Pakistan-supported infiltrators in the Kargil sector.

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