Leader Ajay Ahuja
MAY 28th 1999
preliminary examination of the body of Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja showed
bullet wounds and he was most probably shot dead after baling out from
his MiG aircraft which was downed by a Pakistani missile, said Air Vice-Marshal
S. K. Malik. "His body had bullet wounds,'' he said.
the country to "share my sadness over the death of a valiant officer'',
the officer said details would be known only after the post-mortem was
completed in Srinagar.
Ahuja, the Air Force said the officer made the supreme sacrifice for his
country while remaining over infiltrators-held positions to help coordinate
rescue attempts to locate Flt. Lt. Nachiketa, who had baled out after his
plane stalled due to an engine trouble.
courageous act involving immense risk to his life exemplifies the daring
qualities of Indian fighter pilots engaged in the present operations. We
salute this brave officer for his heroic act and rededicate ourselves to
the task at hand to evict the intruders from our territory,'' said the IAF.
remains of Sq. Ldr. Ahuja, who was killed four days after his 36th birthday,
will be cremated with full military honors in his village in Punjab's Bhatinda
district, said Air Vice-Marshal Malik. Ajay Ahuja, from Kota in Rajasthan,
was commissioned as a fighter pilot in 1985. His 14 years as a fighter
pilot included a stint as an operational pilot on the MiG-23 fighter-bomber
and MiG-21 variants, besides instructional flying experience of over 1,000
hours. An A2 class instructor, he was extremely popular among his pupils
because of his patient and cheerful nature, said IAF officials. His wife,
Mrs. Alka Ahuja, and son Ankush survive him.
IAF personnel carrying the
body of Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja on Sunday. Sqn Ldr Ahuja’s MiG-21 was
shot down by a Pakistan surface-to-air missile on May 27. Photo: Pradeep Bhatia
MAY 29th 1999
mortal remains of Sqn Ldr Ajay Ahuja, whose MiG-21 was shot down in Kargil
on May 27, were consigned to the flames in Bhatinda this afternoon with
full military honours. Heart-rending scenes were witnessed when Ahuja’s
six-year-old son Ankur lit the pyre and Army bugles sounded the Last Post.
The cremation took place some 2 km from the Air Force base here.
village of Killi turned up to pay its respects to the fallen hero. Ahuja’s
body was flown in here from Srinagar by an IAF plane. The body was received
at the Air Force base by Air Force officials and was taken to the MI Room
where Ahuja’s widow, Alka, received it.
There was not
one dry eye around. A group of people shouted “Ajay Ahuja Amar Rahe.” Ahuja’s
relatives were embittered by the reports that said that though he survived
the crash, he was shot dead by the Pakistan Army. His father, Purshottam
Lal Ahuja, said that he was proud that his son had laid down his life for
lodged a strong protest over the “cold blooded and cowardly” murder of
Sqn Ldr Ahuja by Pakistan. IAF spokesman Air Vice Marshal S K Malik stated
that the post-mortem report revealed that Ahuja was shot twice, once through
the ear and once through the chest, after he had parachuted into Pakistani
territory. He also suffered a fracture on his left knee.
report of Ahuja revealed a “penetrating gunshot wound, “entry near his
right ear and exit near his left ear.” The second wound showed “entry 2
cm medial to the right nipple and exit near left iliac crest.” AVM Malik
said that Ahuja’s colleagues are particularly angered by the way he was
killed in captivity. “They are now even more determined to avenge his death,”
Sqn Ldr Ahuja
was married to Alka ten years ago. He was posted to Bhatinda two years
highest wartime gallantry award VIR CHAKRA was awarded to Squadren Leader
Ajay Ahuja on 15th August 1999.