New Delhi, Feb 19 Three Indian Air Force (IAF) pilots in as many crashes, 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in a car bombing, a major in an IED blast, another in snow storm and four army men in an encounter have died within a span of a few days making it one of the worst peace time losses for the armed forces.
Wing commander Sahil Gandhi, who died in a mid-air collision in Bengaluru on Tuesday, was commissioned into the fighter stream in June 2004. Belonging to Hisar, Gandhi has been part of the Bidar-based 52 Squadron, the Surya Kiran aerobatic team of the IAF.
This is the third crash in recent days after a Mirage 2000 fighter jet in Bengaluru met with an accident on February 1 during an acceptance sortie after upgrade killing squadron leaders Samir Abrol and Siddharth Negi.
A Mig-27 crashed on February 12 at Pokhran firing range in Rajasthan just ahead of the fire power demonstration exercise Vayu Shakti. The pilot survived the crash.
On February 14, a CRPF convoy was attacked at Pulwama on the Jammu-Srinagar highway by a car bomber killing 40 troopers.
A day later, major Chitresh Bisht died while deffusing an IED near LoC.
On February 18, four army men, including Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhaundiyal, were killed in an encounter with the masterminds of the Pulwama attack.
The high peacetime casualty numbers of the armed forces are already a concern. But the recent fatalities have taken place within a span of less than 20 days.