Kargil war hero Wing Commander (retd) J S Sangwan, who is facing an inquiry for impersonating his superior officer in a bid to pilot for Union Home Minister Amit Shah, has resigned from the BSF Air Wing.
His resignation is yet to be accepted by the BSF. The force, however, is non-committal on whether Sangwan would be allowed to go, as it has merely said his application is “under process”. Sources said accepting Sangwan’s resignation would mean letting him go without any enquiry at all.
The Indian Express had on August 27 reported how Sangwan, a Kargil War hero from the Indian Air Force, is under investigation by BSF and the Delhi Police for impersonating and misrepresenting a superior officer in a bid to fly Shah’s aircraft.
Days later, on September 2, Sangwan petitioned the BSF for “voluntary resignation” from service. Under the norm, petitions for resignation or retirement are not accepted if the person is facing an enquiry.
“Wg Cdr Jintendra Sangwan, Comdt (Pilot) has submitted a petition dated 02 Sept 2019 for voluntary resignation from service and again submitted a second application dated 16 Sept 2019 for seeking voluntary resignation from service w.e.f 31 Oct’ 2019. The case is under examination and process,” the BSF said in statement to The Indian Express.
However, it added that the “Staff Court of Inquiry is in progress” and that BSF Air Wing “has provided necessary details to PS domestic Airport Palam as requested”.
The police, with which a complaint had been filed, had asked for CCTV footage of the BSF Air Wing computer room and necessary documents related to rules and regulations.
The Indian Express had reported that through June and July, engineering, construction and manufacturing giant Larsen and Toubro received a series of mails from the BSF Air Wing, which flies Shah. The mails requested that Sangwan be given a chance to fly L&T flights.
The mails highly recommended Sangwan, saying he was a trained Embraer pilot with Pilot in Command grading and had over 4,000 flying hours under his belt. Given the high recommendation, L&T agreed and offered to allow him to pilot its flight from Chennai to Delhi to Mumbai in July.
A day before he was to leave for Chennai, however, L&T called the BSF Air Wing office for some clarification. To its horror, it was told that the BSF had made no such recommendation and that Sangwan was not rated even as a co-pilot. An examination of the mails revealed that Sangwan had recommended himself, impersonating as his superior, and in one of the mails had given his own number for verification calls.
A preliminary inquiry found that the officer was, perhaps, trying to clock in enough flying hours on an Embraer so that he could quickly begin to fly the Home Minister — for any VIP flying, a pilot needs a minimum of 500 hours of flying under his belt. To fly the home minister, the requirement is in excess of 1,000 hours.
A complaint was handed over in this regard to the Domestic Airport police station while an internal enquiry was launched by the BSF.