Tamil Nadu Police had placed the entire Nilgiris district and the route from sulur Air Force base to Nilgiris under a security blanket, ahead of the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat’s visit, according to Director General of Police Sylendra Babu. The top State Police official was speaking to media on the on-going Police probe into the fatal and unfortunate Mi17 V5 VVIP chopper crash in the Nilgiri district.
As per the DGP, the State Police had made security arrangements for the General’s travel via the Air and Road routes. “The aerial route and the road route were sterilized and kept under a security blanket. The entire road route from sulur to Coonoor was under full Police security” he added. The DGP’s words gain significance, given that India’s top Defence Official was among the victims of this unfortunate crash.
Sylendra Babu visited the Nanjappan Chatram village near the crash site, in order to thank and provide some essential winter supplies to the residents there. Living meters away from the crash site, the residents there played the most important role as first responders, in carrying out basic relief and rescue using limited resources. They had also immediately alerted the authorities to mobilize fire tenders and manpower to the crash site. This prompt action led to the rescue of three persons from the site. However, only one of them (the pilot) survived and is undergoing critical care.
Regarding the ongoing probe by the Tamil Nadu Police, the DGP had said that 24 eye-witnesses had been questioned and that Muthumanickam, an Additional Superintendent rank Officer would be heading the efforts.