In an unprecedented move, Defence Minister A K Antony has granted one-time special sanction to the Indian Air Force to grant commission to a flying cadet from Manipur paralysed below the waist due to injuries in an air crash.
The defence minister granted the one-time sanction to the IAF two days back on humanitarian grounds for giving commission to Flight Cadet R K Herojit Singh, defence sources said in New Delhi.
The special plea was moved to the defence minister's office by Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne for the retention in service and commissioning of the Flight Cadet, who met with a flying accident during his training at Hakimpet, IAF officials said.
After the sanction, Herojit will undergo a further six months of training in Accounts Branch at Air Force Academy, Dundigal, Hyderabad from January, 2013, they said.
The case is special because Flight Cadet Herojit did not meet the medical norms for commissioning due to an injury which occurred during his flying training, prior to his course completion and subsequent commission into the IAF, they said.
He sustained spinal cord injuries, which left him paralysed from the waist down (paraplegia). Herojit is currently hospitalised at Military Hospital Kirkee. While he moves with the help of a wheel chair, his intellectual and motor capabilities are fully intact, officials said.
A budding flying trainee, Herojit has a meritorious record with exceptional performance in all fields during service training of four years in NDA and Air Force Academy. He was also adjudged as 'The Most Accomplished Flight Cadet', they said.
Notwithstanding the incident, Herojit still wants to serve the armed forces. He hails from a large middle class family in Manipur.