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Thane: 23 years on, mother still fighting to know how her son died

After the Hyderabad High Court ordering the Indian Navy to constitute a fresh Board of Inquiry (BoI) regarding the mysterious death of seaman Amar Paldhe in 1993 and submit a detailed report in six months, his mother has now sought intervention from Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in this matter.

Anuradha Paldhe narrates her battle for justice at a press conference yesterday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Anuradha Paldhe narrates her battle for justice at a press conference yesterday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

“It’s been a long fight for the last 23 years and now I want justice. All I want to know is the actual reason behind of my son’s death,” said Anuradha Paldhe (70), a Dombivli resident and a retired Geography teacher from Tilak Nagar Vidya Mandir. “At least this time I expect the Navy to conduct the BoI honestly, unlike the earlier one in 1994.”

Addressing a press conference in the city yesterday, Paldhe said she wrote to Parrikar last week and has sought his help in this matter.

Amar died on September 21, 1993, while jumping from a helicopter during an exercise off Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. The autopsy report, however, did not specify the cause of death.

When Anuradha insisted on knowing the cause of her son’s death, Navy then claimed that Amar died after being trapped in the high tide at the time of the exercise. When the Navy refused to share Amar’s autopsy report, Anuradha demanded an ante-mortem, which stated that Amar had sustained injuries to his mouth and one of his armpits. Anuradha claimed the report hinted at foul play and debunked all the claims the Navy made about her son’s death.

“I won’t die without knowing who were the real culprits behind Amar’s death. Naval officers themselves described Amar as a diver who was ‘cut above others’, and several court judgments have noted the mystery and negligence surrounding his death,” Anuradha said.

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