MP Writes to AI for Not Announcing Presence of Army Officer's Body on Flight

New Delhi
MP Writes to AI for Not Announcing Presence of Army Officer's Body on Flight

Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has written to Air India questioning why one of its crews refused to announce the presence of the mortal remains of an army officer on a flight carrying his body from Srinagar to Delhi.

In a letter written to Air India Chairman Rohit Nandan, the MP said that on April 28, Air India carried the body of Major Mukund Varadrajan, who was killed in an encounter with militants at Shopian in Jammu and Kashmir, from Srinagar to Delhi and then onward to Chennai where his family lives.

"A request from the army officer accompanying the body of the slain officer on the Srinagar-Delhi flight, that an announcement be made that his mortal remains were on board was turned down by the airline crew, citing aviation rules."

"The major sacrificed his life and future for the countrymen but the bureaucratic manner in which the airline crew responded to this request, is sad and shameful, and conveys an impression of callousness and disrespect towards brave men and women, on part of Air India," Chandrasekhar said.

The Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka urged the Air India chairman "to find out the people involved in this incident. I would also request you to let me know what are the aviation rules' that were quoted in this instance."

He said if rules prevented people from honouring their heroes, "then they need to be changed or abolished altogether. A nation must honour its brave people who sacrifice their lives for the country."

Chandrasekhar said the pilot of the flight which carried the body of the officer from New Delhi to Chennai has written a letter to the parents of the officer, saying he was honoured to have flown their son's body.

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