Beltanagady, July 24, 2016: There is palpable devastation that Ekanath, who was with them a few days ago, has gone missing in the IAF plane. Speaking to media Sathish Shetty, brother-in-law of Ekanath said he had just returned to Chennai on July 16. He had come home on July 6 to attend the house warming ceremony of his sister.
He is one among the 29 on board the ill-fated Indian Air Force AN-32 plane which left for Port Blair, from Chennai. After hearing the news of the missing plane, Ekanath’s wife Jayanthi has fallen sick and is admitted to a hospital in Belthangady.
He had joined the Indian Army as Subedar in 1985 and later joined the Madras Regiment and had served in Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab and Sri Lanka. Though he retired in 2009, he joined the Defence Security Corps on a six year agreement, and he was to retire in August 2017. He was supposed to get transferred to Bengaluru in August. He was serving as sainik instruction officer in Nicobar and had served in Kanpur and Goa in the past.
"The authorities contacted my sister and informed about the missing plane. The authorities on July 23, Saturday informed that the search operation is in full swing," said Shetty.
Shetty hails from Mangaluru and is the son of late Krishna Shetty and Sunanda. He completed his schooling from the Canara School. MP Nalin Kumar Kateel visited the family and promised help from the government. He has contacted the Delhi office and directed them to keep in touch with Ekanath’s family.
Shetty’s wife is a teacher at Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara School in Ujire. The couple’s daughter is pursuing her degree and son is studying in tenth standard.