Families of AN-32 aircraft victims angry over IAF and navy authorities
VISAKHAPATNAM: With no trace yet the Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft that went missing over the Bay of Bengal on July 22, the anxieties of the families of eight NAD staffers from Visakhapatnam who were among the 29 persons on board are now turning into anger at the officials of IAF and Navy.
More than two weeks since the mystery disappearance, the families called a press conference here on Friday and alleged that the authorities of the NAD and the Indian Navy have stopped communicating with them about the search operations in the last five-six days.
They said the NAD has been stonewalling all their queries with a stock answer: the search is going on. "We are vexed listening to the same answer every day. All of us have young children. We need clear updates on the missing aircraft and the fate of the people on board," said J Prasad, a relative of one of the missing persons, Samba Murthy.
A few of the families also alleged that the search operations have slackened after the initial days of vigour. They also blamed the IAF authorities for callousness in the maintenance of the AN-32 aircraft which had reportedly developed three technical snags within the month prior to its July 22 flight.
The eight employees of NAD started out from Visakhapatnam on July 20 and reached Chennai at around 8 am on July 21. They were assigned to fix a routine defect in a weapon system CRN-91 on board the INS Battimalv docked at Port Blair.