A day after three Indian Air Force (IAF) jawans drowned in a rivulet near Shamli village in Morni, families of the three jawans arrived in Panchkula to take the bodies on Monday.
The three jawans, identified as Corporal A Kumar (27) from Andhra Pradesh, LAC Mukhpal Singh Chahal (29) and LAC Vikas Kumar (24), all posted at Barwala Air Force Station, had died after they drowned in a rivulet near Shamli village in Morni on Sunday evening. The four jawans, including LAC Pankaj, the sole eyewitness in the case, had gone to Morni for a picnic on Sunday evening.
“All three of them were good swimmers, as they were often seen in the swimming pool at the Air Force Station. Since Sunday was a holiday, they went out for a picnic. The Air Force Exchange received a rescue call from Corporal Pankaj last evening saying he could not see the three jawans who had jumped into the rivulet for swimming. We sent our force for help, but they had died by then. The whole unit is in shock,” said a senior IAF officer.
As per the post-mortem report, all three of them died due to drowning. There was a serious injury on Chahal’s head, and minor injuries on the heads of the other two, which indicated that Chahal might have dived into the rivulet, got injured and drowned. According to the police, the two others had jumped to rescue Chahal.
Corporal Vikas Kumar, 24, the youngest of them, was also the youngest in his family, with an elder sister and a brother. “He was recruited in the Air Force three years ago, and it was his first posting after completing training in Bangalore. I had talked to him on the phone last Sunday, and he sounded happy,” said Deepak Kumar, his elder brother who received a call around 8 pm on Sunday about the accident. Deepak said the body would be flown
to Danapur near Patna where the last rites would be conducted.
A resident of Bathinda, LAC Chahal was also the youngest of the two brothers, and was married seven months ago. His body was taken by his family members, including his elder brother and brother-in-law. Corporal A Kumar was the senior among the three, and belonged to Andhra Pradesh.
The local police and residents of nearby village helped in fishing out the bodies of the jawans.