Bodies of five NCC cadets flown to New Delhi
The court of inquiry ordered by the Director General of National Cadets Corps (NCC) into the incident in which five NCC cadets from the Delhi Directorate drowned in the Periyar at Mahoganythottam in Mulamkuzhi near Malayattoor on Wednesday started its investigation on Thursday.
The court of inquiry led by Colonel Biju Thomas, Group Commander Bangalore NCC, and assisted by two officers of the rank of lieutenant colonel from other directorates, inspected the accident spot from 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. They collected statements predominantly from the two Associate NCC Officers from the Delhi Directorate who accompanied the ill-fated trekking batch and other cadets of that batch. The batch was made up of 53 cadets from the Delhi Directorate and 43 cadets from the Kerala Directorate.
Sources said that preliminary investigations were held on Thursday while detailed inquiry will start from Friday. The investigating team has been asked to complete the inquiry at the earliest. The inquiry could last, it is learned, anywhere between three days to one week.
The investigators will speak with everyone, including local residents who are in someway connected to the incident.
Meanwhile, the bodies of the five victims were given a military farewell at the Naval Base here on Thursday.
The mortal remains of Cadets Hemant Kumar, Mohammed Zeeshan, Tabeesh Baqri, Dilshad Alam, and Gulvez Alam were later flown on a special military aircraft from INS Garuda to New Delhi.
Mayor Tony Chammany, District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareed, Commodore Anand Balakrishnan, Officiating Chief of Staff of Southern Naval Command; Commodore T.P. Jaison Thomas, Group Commander NCC, Ernakulam; officers and men from Southern Naval Command, and officials and cadets of NCC were among those present to bid final farewell to the departed cadets.
Floral tributes were paid on behalf of the Defence Minister, Chief Minister of Kerala, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Naval Command, Director General NCC and several NCC battalions during the ceremony.