BHUBANESHWAR: Flight Lieutenant Sunit Mohanty of Ganjam district is among the 13 crew and passengers onboard An-32 which went missing in Arunachal Pradesh.
A pall of gloom descended on the Mohanty family of Baliapalli village in Kabisuryanagar after the news of his missing was reported.
According to the district administration, Mohanty (26) was on board the An-32 which took off from Jorhat in Assam for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh and went missing.
“We received information that Sunit Mohanty was on board the aircraft, following which we informed his aunt staying in Baliapalli,” Ganjam Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange told TNIE.
He, however, said the information was not communicated to them by IAF.
The officials said the Flight Lieutenant’s father, Surendranath Mohanty, is a retired Group Captain. “Mohanty’s father is working in private sector now and is staying with wife and daughter in New Delhi,” they added.
Sunit’s cousin, Pratap Kumar Mohanty of Baliapalli, told this newspaper they are all praying for the wellbeing of his brother and other passengers of the missing aircraft.
Meanwhile, Mohanty’s father has reportedly taken up the matter with Defense Ministry and urged the officials to raise the incident with Chinese authorities as there are chances of the ill-fated aircraft drifting into foreign territory.
The search operation for the missing aircraft was called off on Friday due to low light conditions.
The operation will be resumed on Saturday. A massive search and rescue operation is being conducted by the Armed Forces daily between Jorhat and Mechuka, which is also being assisted by local and police agencies.