CHANDIGARH: The 31-year old Squadron leader Siddharth Vashisht was killed in the helicopter crash at Garend Kalaan village in Budgam in Jammu and Kashmir today morning was a fourth generation member from the family in the defence services and his wife is also a serving Squadron leader in the Indian Airforce (IAF).
Siddharth who had studied from Shivalik Public School and DAV College from the city was commissioned in the IAF in 2010 and last month he was given commendation for his role in the rescue operations during the Kerala floods. In July last year, he was posted to Srinagar and his wife Arti was also posted there. Before that he was posted in Coimbatore. "My son was flying this helicopter as he was the main pilot. He was inspired to join the IAF as his uncle Vineet Bharatwaj was a fighter pilot, so he also wanted to follow his footsteps, his uncle had also died in the crash seventeen years ago,’’ says Jagdish Kasal father of the deceased.
Controlling his emotions Jagdish had served in the army and then joined the Punjab National Bank and got retired from their was talking to each and everyone who was visiting their house to pay the condolences for his son’s demise. "My son for married in 2013 and has a two-year-old son Angad, his Arti who is also a Squadron leader in IAF and posted in Srinagar along with my son was on leave for a month as she was in Gurugram, the authorities had told her that her leave now stands cancelled and she had to report back for duty and this news came that my son is no more, now Arti is coming here for the last rites. The IAF officers posted in Srinagar informed me in the afternoon that my son died in the crash,’’ he says.
"Siddarth was youngest in the family as she had three elder sisters and his great grandfather and grand father besides his father had also served in the defence forces. Last Monday he had come for two hours to meet his father, mother and sisters as he was on his way to Srinagar from Delhi, ’’ said a close relative.
The family which now lives in Chandigarh hails from Naraingarh in Haryana, there was lines of relatives friends and politicians visiting them. Also another IAF personnel, Vikrant Sehrawat who died in the helicopter crash this morning, belonged to Badhani village in Jhajjar. A pall of gloom descended on the village as soon as tragic news of Vikrant’s demise reached there. He is survived by his wife and two children.