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Wing Commander of ill-fated IAF plane cremated in Jorhat

Wing Commander GM Charles’ mortal remains being cremated with full military honours in the presence of Indian Air Force, police and district administration officials at the Garamur Crematorium at Jorhat, on Friday. – UB Photos
 JORHAT, June 22 - Wing Commander MG Charles of the Indian Air Force was cremated at the Garamur Crematorium here at about 8 am yesterday with full military honours.

The Wing Commander and 12 other IAF personnel were killed when the AN 32 aircraft in which they were flying on June 3 to Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh from Jorhat Airforce Station lost contact with ground control about 30 minutes after taking off and crashed into a mountainous stretch in Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.

Prior to the lighting of the funeral pyre by Vijendra, a close friend of Charles, IAF personnel laid wreaths and fired three volleys into the air at the cremation ground.

The cremation was attended by his wife, close friends and officials of the Army, Indian Air Force, police and district administration. Charles is survived by his wife and an eight-year-old daughter.

A source said that Charles belongs to Pune in Maharashtra and had been brought up by his uncle as he had lost his parents at a young age.

Due to inclement weather and treacherous flying conditions, the remains were recovered on Wednesday and brought from the site of the accident in the Pari mountain range to Aalo in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh and subsequently brought to their parent base at Jorhat on Thursday night.

The mortal remains of 12 other Indian Air Force personnel who died in the crash were taken to New Delhi by two planes. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid homage to the personnel in New Delhi.

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