The Indian Air Force authorities have launched a search operation to trace out a Wing Commander who allegedly escaped from custody of the force after being declared a deserter.
Shashank Shekhar, Wing Commander of Air Force Station Rajasansi in Amritsar [ Images ], was absent without leave from October 24, 2011, and was declared a deserter on December 21, 2011.
The officer was later apprehended from Sadanand Shantanand Asharam, Haripurakalan, in Dehradun on May 11 by the IAF and police.
He was then brought to the Air Force Station, Ambala around midnight on May 12 and was medically examined.
The officer was later placed under Air Force custody and three officers of the Ambala station were put on duty as escorts.
"Around midnight on May 13, the officer pretended uneasiness and suffocation and requested the escorts sitting outside the door of the room to allow him to come out for fresh air. On being allowed, the deserter ran away from the Air Force custody.
The two escort officers chased him. However, the deserter took advantage of the darkness and grass and managed to give a slip to the escorts.
His act of escaping from custody is an offence under Section 51 of the Air Force Act, 1950, a Haryana government release said.
A search has been launched to trace him out, the release said, adding, the police and the next of kin of the officer have been informed.
Shekhar hails from Ambala City. He was taken into custody a few days back and was kept under tight security arrangements inside the Air Force station.
According to official sources, earlier he was kept in a officer's mess, but later due to security reasons he was shifted to the Rest house meant for the pilots inside the Air Force station at Ambala.
Chief Administrative officer of Ambala Air Force Station, Group Captain J S Voprai, said that the Air Force officials have been looking for Shekhar in the surrounding villages close to Ambala.
Earlier Shekhar's mother Vimlesh Sharma, who resides in Ambala City, had alleged before reporters that her son was under pressure from his superior authorities.