IAF wing commander MG Charles’s wife Sony at the cremation site in Jorhat on Friday.

Wing commander MG Charles of the Indian Air Force (IAF) was cremated at the Garmur Smashan at about 8 am on Friday with military honours.

The wing commander and 12 other IAF personnel were killed when the AN-32 aircraft in which they were flying to Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh from Jorhat Air Force Station, lost its bearings and crashed into a mountainous stretch in Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh on June 3.

Prior to the lighting of the funeral pyre by Vijendra, a close friend of Charles, IAF personnel laid wreaths and fired three volleys into the air at the crematorium.

The cremation was attended by his wife Sonal, close friends and officials of the Army, Air Force, police and district administration.

Charles is survived by his wife and an eight year old daughter.

An IAF official handing over wing commander MG Charles’s official belongings wrapped in the national Tricolour to his wife Sony.

A source said that Charles who hails from Pune, Maharashtra had been brought up by his uncle as he had lost his parents at a young age.

Air commodore SK Verma told newsman at the crematorium that in mountainous stretches, a radar may not function properly and a pilot would then have to depend on visibility and use his own senses.

The contents of the black box in the aircraft are yet to be investigated to ascertain the cause of the accident.

The aircraft with 13 members onboard, had gone missing on June 3, about 30 minutes after taking off from Jorhat airbase in Assam for Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh.

The remains were recovered on Wednesday and brought from the site of the accident in the Pari mountain range to Aalo in West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.

They were brought to their parent base at Jorhat last night.

The mortal remains of 12 other Indian Air Force personnel who died in the AN-32 aircraft crash were taken to New Delhi last night by two planes.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh paid homage to the personnel at Delhi.

On Wednesday the bodies had been brought to Siang in Arunachal Pradesh from the site of the crash.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com

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