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Kin believe missing IAF pilot is in Pak jail

March 05, 2007 18:41 IST

The relatives of Muraleedharan, an Indian Air Force pilot who went missing during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, have decided to seek President A P J Abdul Kalam's intervention to ascertain their belief that he might be languishing in a Pakistan jail.

Hailing from the Nilambur royal family, Muraleedharan was just 21 when his aircraft was gunned down while flying over Peshawar, said Rama Varma, secretary of Kshatriya Kshema Sabha, a forum of the community Muraleedharan belonged to.

The statements given by his colleagues had then hinted at the possibility of the pilot having escaped by parachute. Also, there were reports that his name was there in the list of the prisoners of war then broadcasted

by the Pakistan radio.

Muraleedharan's mother and sister claim that shortly after the incident, the IAF authorities had informed them that nobody was found near the wreckage of the aircraft, Varma told PTI.

In response to a plea a few years back, former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao had informed the family that the inquiry into the case was still on. Rama Varma said Defence Minister A K Antony has promised all help to find out the truth.

The Kshathriya Kshema Sabha will meet at Tiruvalla on March 11 to finalise the details of the memorandum to the President, Rama Varma said.

Muraleedharan's father Padmanabhan Thirumulpad died in 1994 and his mother and sister now reside in Mysore.

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