Last rites of IAF chopper pilot performed with military honours

Chandigarh: The last rites of Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter pilot, Squadron Leader Siddharth Vashisth, who was among the six personnel killed when their MI-17 chopper crashed near Badgam, Jammu and Kashmir, were done with full military honours here on Friday.

Hundreds of people, including family members and friends, and serving and retired defence officers attended the cremation.

Air Force personnel fired in the air and reversed their arms as a mark of respect.

He is survived by his wife, Squadron Leader Arti Singh, who is also posted with the IAF in Srinagar, and a two-year-old son.

The 31-year-old pilot was a fourth generation from his family in the defence forces. He had received commendation on January 26 for his exceptional contribution towards rescue operations during the Kerala floods last year.

Siddharth had taken off from the Srinagar airport on Wednesday morning and the helicopter crashed minutes later due to a technical snag.

He was posted to 154 Helicopter Unit in Srinagar in last July. He had joined the IAF in 2010.

Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore and other senior officers met the family of the pilot and condoled his death.

The last rites of IAF corporal Vikrant of Haryana’s Jhajjar district were also done on Friday with full military honours.