A transport pilot in the Indian Air Force says that his life has been put in jeopardy because of a petty clash with his superiors.
A total of 19 charges have been leveled against Flight Lieutenant Maan Pal Singh Godara.
Godara is facing a General Court Martial at a missile base in Mumbai on charges ranging from assaulting his superior officer to not eating food, and stealing the remote control in the Officers’ mess.
He has been kept under detention by the Air Force at a remote air base in Thane district of Maharashtra.
However, the officer has complained that he is facing severe torture in detention and fears for his life in custody.
He has now written to Air Force chief Arup Raha pleading his case.
The Indian Air Force did not respond to a detailed query from Mail Today despite being asked four days ago to give its version on the alleged plight of the officer.
The young officer, who is married to naval officer called Deepika Chowdhary, was allowed to attend to his pregnant wife just before his delivery after the intervention of the Mumbai High Court last year.
Deepika, another ‘high-flyer’ had led the Naval contingent at the Republic Day parade two years ago.
Godara, who had won gold medal for the IAF in national shooting championship, has claimed in his plea to the IAF chief that he has been facing harassment and is being victimized by his superiors since 2013 after he suffered a knee injury.
His father Bhanu Pratap Godara, a retired teacher from the Rajasthan Education Board, said his son’s plight started after his son was found medically unfit to fly Antonov-32 transport aircraft due to an injury suffered in service and was posted to Bhuj where there were no medical facilities to treat his knee.
“After he sought transfer from Bhuj to a place where he could get his knee treated properly, the commanding officer there took the matter to his heart and refused to do so despite recommendation by seniors,” his father said.
The officer claimed that after his repeated pleas for a transfer to an air base in Mumbai for treatment, he was posted at a remote location in Thane district, which is 130 kms away from the naval hospital.
He said that his career has been destroyed due to the denial of proper treatment by his superiors.
Godara was declared permanently unfit to fly a transport aircraft on April 21 this year as he could not recuperate within the two years mandatory period.
The officer, whose grandfather was an Army officer and served as ADC (Aidede- Camp) to first President of India Rajendra Prasad and brother is a decorated naval fighter pilot, was also warned that if his family raised voice against his ill treatment, action would be taken against him, he alleged.
The officer further alleged that after his uncle wrote a letter to the Defence Minister and the Chief of Air Staff, he was issued a show cause notice on June 7 this year.
This despite the Defence Ministry clarifying that writing directly to the minister or the ministry is not an offense and cannot be made a basis for taking action against an officer.
The officer has now pleaded that both his and his wife’s careers have been compromised after both of them were posted in and near Mumbai and requested for a posting to Delhi.
The IAF has, so far, not responded to the pleas of the young officer, and started his court martial proceedings in closed arrest for over 60 days in Mumbai.
Of the 19 charges slapped against him, some are of a ‘frivolous’ nature like stealing data cables and TV remote controls from the officers’ mess.