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Cadet Trainee Found Dead on Campus; 6 Air Force Officers Booked for Murder

The family members of the deceased have alleged that he was harassed and tortured on the college campus.

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Edited By :Tejas Harad

After a cadet trainee was found dead in a room of Air Force Training College (AFTC) in Bengaluru on Saturday, 24 September, six Indian Air Force officers have been booked for murder, police officials said.

The trainee allegedly died by suicide after a court of inquiry was ordered against him over alleged misconduct, a police official told NDTV.

Under Trainee Flying Officer (UTFO) Ankit Kumar Jha joined the Air Force in February 2021. However, his training was terminated this month on 20 September for alleged misconduct based on an investigation that took place after a complaint against him by a woman trainee officer, the IAF said in a statement.

The family members of the deceased have alleged that he was harassed and tortured on the college campus.

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"A court of inquiry by IAF is underway to establish the circumstances leading to the death of the UTFO," the statement said. It added that the IAF is cooperating with the police investigation being conducted on the matter.

The IAF in its statement said that the post-mortem examination was conducted on 23 September.

'Evidence Was Tampered With': Brother of the Deceased

According to the complaint lodged by Aman Jha, the brother of the deceased, the police registered the case against six IAF officers at Gangammana Gudi police station on Saturday in the death of Ankit, police officials said.

In his complaint, Aman also alleged that attempts were made to tamper with evidence as people from the AFTC were present at the police station at around 4:30 am on Saturday with a piece of evidence that Aman was also looking for.

"The reason behind the death is yet to be ascertained. Our investigations are on. Jha was a trainee cadet and he was found hanging in one of the rooms of AFTC," a senior police officer told PTI.

"The officers against whom the complaint was lodged have not been arrested but the Indian Air Force has assured us all assistance," the officer added.

The police is waiting for the post-mortem report to continue the investigation.

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"The Indian Air Force condoles the unfortunate loss of life and prays for strength to the bereaved family in their time of grief. The IAF is cooperating with the investigation being conducted by the police on the matter," IAF said in its statement.

It said that an officer was tasked with conveying the news of this incident to the parents of late Ankit Jha in Delhi and his family visited the AFTC on Saturday.

IAF's statement said that Ankit Jha's training had been terminated on 20 September.

"Termination of training was the result of recommendations made by a Court of Inquiry (COI), which was instituted following a complaint by a fellow woman trainee officer against the UTFO on 30 June," it said.

"It had been established that the UFTO had committed certain acts of misconduct. The inquiry proceedings were duly examined at multiple levels before being approved at the Air headquarters, as per established procedure on the subject," the statement added.

Based on his brother Aman Jha's complaint, the police registered a case against six IAF officers at Gangammana Gudi police station on Saturday for Ankit's death, according to local police.

(With inputs from PTI and NDTV.)

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Topics:  KARNATAKA   Indian Air Force 

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