C'garh police, doctor decry Air Chief's remark

FP

"Doctors communicated to me in writing yesterday that he (Sahu) is not in a condition to give a statement, and we should wait. Our officers visit him regularly to monitor his situation. He has lost his health and career. It is extremely unfortunate that his condition is being ignored," Vij said.

Sahu was hit by a bullet in the abdomen as the Mi-17 helicopter came under Naxal fire on January 18. After the chopper was forced to crashland, the IAF crew left him behind in the jungle, causing a delay in his treatment that Dave said led to "haemodynamic instability that caused a paralytic attack".

On Thursday, Browne said the "impression that has been created, that (the Air Force personnel) backed out, they abandoned (Sahu), they ran away, I think it is all nonsense". He insisted that in leaving the helicopter, his men had in fact tried to "avoid a hostage situation".

Sahu has undergone several surgeries and a portion of his small and large intestines have been removed. It will be 4-5 months before he gains some strength in his limbs, doctors said.

In Delhi, a top home ministry official denied that a letter from the home secretary to the defence secretary seeking action against the IAF personnel had been leaked by the ministry. In his press conference, Browne had expressed surprise that Home Secretary R K Singh's letter to Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma had been leaked.

Browne had warned that "sniping" was "not the (right) way to function". Asked if he was pointing to the home secretary, Browne said he was addressing "all the agencies".

On Friday, the home ministry official said, "We do indulge in washing dirty linen in the media. We have found that the contents of the letter were not leaked from the home ministry". In his letter to Sharma, Singh had described the abandonment of weapons, the helicopter and the injured policeman by the IAF as "extremely disturbing".

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