Friday, Jul 04, 2003
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By K.T. Sangameswaran
If the co-pilot, stated to be alive, was located, the fate of the Flt. Sergeant could be known, the commission member, S. Sambandham, wrote to the Defence Secretary.
The Commission acted on a petition presented by Vijayalakshmi of Tiruvanmiyur here, wife of Flt. Sgt. Somasundaram, who submitted that AN-12-BL534, which her husband was flying back from Leh to Chandigarh on February 7, 1968, crashed over the Rohtang Pass. She enclosed press reports which said Sq.Ldr. P. N. Malhotra, who was also aboard the plane, was in a Pakistan prison. She was confident that her husband was alive.
In his letter, Mr. Sambandam said if as per press reports, Sq. Ldr. Malhotra was alive, the fate of other defence personnel, numbering 97, should not be different. At least, Sq.Ldr. Malhotra would be in a position to say what happened to Flt.Sgt. Somasundaram. The member requested the Defence Secretary to take up the matter with his Pakistan counterpart for locating Sq. Ldr. Malhotra. A similar letter has been despatched to the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Lahore.
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