Murder: Six IAF officers booked

September 25, 2022 09:33 pm | Updated 09:33 pm IST - Bengaluru

Six Indian Air Force (IAF) officers have been booked on the charge of murder by the Bengaluru police, over the suspicious death of a 27-year-old former Under Trainee Flying Officer (UTFO) at Air Force Technical College, found dead on the campus recently.

Ankit Kumar Jha, a former UTFO who had been discharged from service following a court of inquiry for inappropriate behavior, was found dead in an unoccupied hostel room at the AFTC on September 21.

His brother Aman Jha filed a complaint against senior AFTC officials on Thursday.

Mr. Aman Jha has alleged that the IAF officers have been tampering with evidence and has demanded a CBI probe into the case.

The accused officials identified as Air Commodore Sameer Khalode, Group Captains G.L. Rao, Badrinath V., Wing Commanders Huddar S.S., Ankith Sharma, and college in-charge and woman officer Tahira Rahman.

Ankit Kumar Jha was terminated from the college owing to alleged “inappropriate behavior“ after the court of inquiry, on the fateful day. After the formalities, he was escorted by a guard to pack his bag from his room.

While the guard went to use the washroom, Ankit escaped and was later found hanging on the campus.

The police also recovered a note allegedly written by him, which has now been sent for forensic examination to ascertain its authenticity.

While awaiting the autopsy report, the Gangammana Gudi police have registered a murder case based on the complaint by Mr. Aman Jha, an Indian Navy officer, and have begun the probe.

The IAF, in a statement on Sunday, termed the incident “unfortunate” and said they were cooperating with the police.

The IAF also said: “A court of inquiry by the IAF is under way to establish the circumstances leading to the death of the UTFO”.

“His [Ankit Kumar Jha] training was terminated on September 20, 2022, after informing his father of the same. The termination of training was the result of recommendations by a court of inquiry, which was instituted following a complaint by a fellow woman trainee officer against the UTFO on June 30, 2022. It had been established that the UFTO had committed certain acts of misconduct. The Inquiry proceedings were duly examined at multiple levels before being approved at Air HQ, as per established procedure on the subject,” the statement said.

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