New Delhi: It has been three days since the Indian Air Force’s AN-32 aircraft disappeared over the Bay of Bengal and as the massive search operation continues, family of a Flight Lieutenant, who was on-board, has turned to the last resort – miracle.
“She had left for Port Blair after spending a brief period of her annual leave with us,” says an inconsolable Prem Lata, mother of Flight Lieutenant Deepika Sheoran.
Sheoran is onboard the IAF’s AN-32 place which left for Port Blair from Chennai on Friday with 29 people and went off radar minutes later.
At least 18 navy and coast guard ships including a submarine, and eight aircraft like P 81, C 130 and Dorniers involved in the round the clock operation to search for the aircraft have been able to find no clue.
“I wish for some miracle to save her and 28 other missing people,” Prem Lata says. She says she last spoke to her on Thursday.
Armed with a degree in computer engineering, Deepika Sheoran preferred to don uniform as a flight lieutenant and joined the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2013.
She got Port Blair posting last month. Hanging on to every scrap of information about the missing aircraft, her family says Deepika was very excited to get the posting.
Sheoran had married Kuldeep Dalal on November 22 last and her husband is posted in Port Blair as assistant commandant with the Coast Guard.
This was the couple’s first joint posting. The officer’s father Dalip Singh Sheoran, an executive engineer with Haryana public health department, said after completing her B Tech in computer engineering from Faridabad, she got a placement in MNC at Noida.
She was also selected for the army as a lieutenant and had completed all formalities. “But she had something else in mind – joining the air force,” he says. “She also qualified for the technical branch of the IAF and was commissioned in January 2013 as flying officer.”
“Since her childhood she was crazy about aeroplanes. Though she could not become a pilot, she was happy to join the air force to satisfy her thrill for aircraft. She has disappeared in the same sky where she always wished to fly,” Singh added.
Deepika was the eldest among three siblings. Her younger brother Anubhav has completed an engineering degree and youngest sister has completed her class XII.
Anubhav said her sister was the “life of their house” and used to guide him and his sister about their careers.