Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on Saturday termed the Dadri killing as “unfortunate”, and said they were looking at the possibility of moving the family to an IAF area. The victim’s elder son, Mohammad Sartaj, is a corporal-rank technician in the IAF.
“Unfortunate incident or accident, I would say it is unfortunate that a serving Air Force personnel’s family has been affected, resulting in death in the family. We are already in touch… Whatever protection is required, we are giving it to him. We are trying to move (them) to some Air Force area. We are with him, and our people are there to assist the family,” said Raha, while addressing the annual press conference.
Asked if the IAF would raise the issue with the local authorities or the central government, Raha said, “Writing to the state government or central government, I think, is superfluous because everybody has understood in the government that such things cannot be accepted. Adequate action is being taken at the government level, both central as well as state,” he said.
Meanwhile, speaking to The Sunday Express, Sartaj said his brother, Danish, who was beaten up with his father Mohammad Akhlaq in Bisara village on Monday night following rumours that they had consumed beef, also wanted to join the IAF.
Danish suffered serious injuries and has already had two complicated brain surgeries.
“The defence service is the most secular profession in the country. He (Danish) finished his graduation in political science. He wants to become a police officer or join the Air Force. He has filled his form for the Combined Defence Service (CDS) exam. He was to appear for the exam… But now, I am not sure if he will be able to appear for the exam. Right now, my prayer is that he recovers, and once he does, I want him to become an officer,” said Sartaj, who is currently posted at the Tambaram air base in Chennai.
Sartaj, the eldest son of the family, joined the IAF in 2008 after his Class XII exam. He did his graduation from Osmania University (correspondence course) while he was posted in Secunderabad. He also appeared for the Services Selection Board (SSB) to become a commissioned officer.
“I cleared the screening at Mysore and reached the conference round but did not make it. I will appear for SSB again. I want to become a commissioned officer in the IAF,” he said.
On the attack on his family, he said: “Beef is not the real reason… This is big planning… My father taught me to respect elders. I would say ‘Ram Ram’, ‘namaste’ to all the elders in the village… We celebrated festivals together. Why would anyone want to attack our family. People are now afraid. I am afraid to return. There are about 25-30 Muslim families in the village, half of them have vacated their houses and left. Those who cannot afford to flee are staying there under fear.”
Meanwhile, the hospital authorities removed Danish from ventilator support for about four hours today.
“We gave a trial of removing the ventilator. Till 2 pm, he was without ventilator. But the carbon dioxide in his blood started increasing, so we put him back on ventilator. We shall repeat the same tomorrow,” said Dr Varun Bhargav, senior consultant, neurology.