Missing AN-32 aircraft: Family of pilot unhappy with search operation

Pilot Ashish Tanwar's mother Saroj has also demanded to meet Prime Minister Modi

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Missing AN-32 aircraft: Family of pilot unhappy with search operation
Pilot Ashish Tanwar and his wife Sandhya


Palwal (Haryana) The AN-32 aircraft has now been missing for seven days and troops have failed to locate the aircraft despite repeated attempts. The Russian-origin AN-32 transport aircraft took off from Assam's Jorhat at 12.27 pm last Monday for the Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Shi-Yomi district of Arunachal Pradesh. However, it lost contact with ground control by 1 pm.

A total of 13 people, including eight crew members and five passengers were onboard the aircraft. One of the missing crew members, pilot Ashish Tanwar's family has demanded to intensify the army search operation.

Pilot Ashish Tanwar's mother Saroj has also demanded to meet Prime Minister Modi.


  • Another crew member flying Lieutenant, Mohit Garg’s father  Sunrinder Garg and uncle Raushipal have rushed to Assam after the news of missing AN-32.
  • Mohit’s father and uncle have joined the search operation of the government. Mohit’s brother Ashwani who is at their home in Samna, Punjab says his uncle has expressed dissatisfaction related to the search operation. 

Air Force pilot wife Sandhya was the Air Traffic Controller on duty at Jorhat when his AN-32 aircraft lifted off. Massive efforts are on to locate AN-32 transport aircraft with the Air Force deploying Navy's P-8I aircraft and Global 5000 surveillance aircraft along with NTRO satellites on the fifth day since it went missing over Arunachal Pradesh. Apart from these, Su-30MKI combat aircraft, C-130J special operations aircraft, several choppers, UAVs and even ground troops are carrying out search missions to locate the plane.

Another family member, Ashish's uncle has blamed the government for not deploying a full force in search operation.

Union Minister General (Retd) VK Singh on Sunday assured that the government and defence forces are "working tirelessly" to locate it. "As a soldier, I empathise with the families of these 13 brave men. My thoughts & prayers are with all of you Our government & defence forces are working tirelessly in harsh weather conditions, in particularly challenging geography to find the AN-32 aircraft, " the Former Chief of Army Staff tweeted.

In a statement on Friday, IAF said that it is in regular touch with the families of the missing air-warriors and all assistance is being provided to them. "IAF is not sparing any efforts in locating the missing air-warriors. We stand in support of the families in these difficult times," said the Air Force in the statement.

Aerial search operation to trace a missing transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force could not be undertaken for the second consecutive day on Sunday due to bad weather.

(With agency inputs)

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