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IAF aircraft wreckage: Odisha man’s family waits for body to perform last rites

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NewsDrum Desk
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Berhampur (Odisha), Jan 13 (PTI) Though more than seven years have passed since the disappearance of Charana Moharana, one of the 29 persons aboard the Indian Air Force’s AN-32 transport aircraft that had gone missing over the Bay of Bengal in July 2016, his family still awaits the body to perform his last rites.

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For all these years, the family did not perform the last rites expecting that the body would be found one day. In fact, Charan’s parents are still hopeful of getting back the mortal remains of their son.

Their hopes have increased after wreckage of the transport aircraft that went missing on July 22, 2016 was found at a depth of around 3,400 metres in the Bay of Bengal off the Chennai coast.

Charana Moharana (27) hailed from Sukunda village in Ganjam district and worked at a fitter in the Naval Armament Depot Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

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Purna Chandra Senapati of Rangaranga village in Jajpur district was another person from the state who was also in the aircraft.

A couple of days after the plane went missing, two officers of the Naval Armament Depot in Visakhapatnam had officially informed the parents of Charana about his disappearance.

"We have not performed his last rites as his body was not found," said Sasmita Moharana, Charana’s sister.

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"As the debris of the missing aircraft was found off the Chennai coast, we hope the body of my son will also be found near the seabed," said Sudam Moharana, Charana’s 75-year-old father.

"Even though the government declared his death and paid necessary compensation, I could not believe it as his body was not found," said Charana’s 65-year-old mother.

"Now, there’s a chance to get his body," said Ashok, one of his cousins.

The debris of the missing aircraft was found on the seabed approximately 310 km from the Chennai coast. The National Institute of Ocean Technology, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, located the debris.

Despite extensive search and rescue operations involving aircraft and ships, the missing personnel and aircraft debris could not be located until now. The aircraft, with registration K-2743, disappeared during an operational mission from Chennai to Port Blair. PTI COR AAM AAM MNB

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