Sushant Abrol, the brother of deceased Indian Air Force pilot Samir Abrol, said in a poem on Facebook last week that while the bureaucracy enjoys “cheese and wine”, the air warriors are given “outdated machines” to fight. The pilot’s widow Garima Abrol also shared the post on Instagram.
Samir Abrol and his co-pilot Siddharth Negi died when their Mirage 2000 trainer fighter aircraft crashed near the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited airport in Bengaluru on February 1. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has initiated an inquiry into the accident in coordination with the IAF.
Sushant Abrol told IANS that he had written the poem while flying back with his brother’s coffin from Bengaluru. He said it was a comment against the system in general, and should not be seen as directed against anyone.
Sushant Abrol said there were eight other officers on the flight. “I realised it could have happened with one of them also,” he said. “It is not the family’s loss but a loss for the Air Force, for his friends.” Sushant Abrol said the family is waiting for a court of inquiry report into the matter.
“Unforgiving and thankless is a job of a test pilot,” Sushant Abrol wrote in the poem. “Someone has to risk it to show others the light. Never had he breathed so heavy, as for the last time, while the bureaucracy enjoyed its corrupt cheese and wine.”
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the families of the two deceased pilots on February 5.
Sushant Abrol also shared a post by Union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Facebook, in which the minister said the martyrdom of the two pilots will never be forgotten. “Will the people responsible for the loss of our family be made accountable?” Abrol asked. “Will we witness a fair and just inquiry without any government or bureaucratic influence? Will the report be shared with the family? How will the government and the system make sure we don’t witness any such incident in the future?”