The mystery of missing IAF AN-32 aircraft further deepened when the family members of airman Raghuvir Verma claimed that his mobile was ‘on’ and rang a few times.
Kin of airman Verma, who was on board the aircraft, has said that they were able to ring his mobile phone yesterday’s morning. Family member even mentioned that the ‘last seen’ feature of the messaging app WhatsApp was showing July 26 i.e. four days after the flight went missing.
When Verma’s family members approached the IAF and shared the details, it gave a new hope to crew which has been working continuously to locate the transport aircraft.
According to family members, Verma’s Airtel sim card was registered in Barmer, where he was posted.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar yesterday said that no concrete evidence on the missing aircraft has emerged so far after a week of search.
The Minister, in identical statements in both Houses, said that based on inputs, areas of "three oil slicks, five transmission intercepts and 24 floating objects have been thoroughly investigated by ships and aircraft, without any concrete evidence emerging with respect to the missing IAF AN-32, till date".
Although there are no credible inputs have been received yet about the missing flight but, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday said in Rajya Sabha, the government is seeking help from American defence forces to ascertain whether their satellites had picked up any signal before the disappearance of the plane.
"At the time of disappearance, the aircraft was on secondary/passive radar and there was no SOS or transmission of any frequency. It just disappeared so that is the worrying part," Parrikar said.
As many as 17 ships from Coast Guard and Indian Navy and 23 aircraft are involved in the search of the plane in Bay of Bengal amid receding hopes of finding any survivors.