Five rescue teams, including from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), continue to search for 10 Para (Special Forces) Captain Ankit Gupta, who drowned during a training exercise at Takhat Sagar Lake in Jodhpur on Thursday.
Captain Gupta is the commander of 10 Para Special Forces, which was selected as the best unit of the year (2020) in the Indian Army. As a part of a drill, he jumped from a helicopter into the Takhat Sagar reservoir on Thursday. Three other commandos also jumped with him, but Captain Ankit could not come out.
The army’s search operation in the lake started Thursday afternoon but had to be halted after dark.
“The teams of NDRF, SDRF, civil defence and army are continuously searching for the submerged captain, but he is still missing. As part of the exercise, some jawans jumped into the lake from the helicopter to improve their skills in rescuing drowned people,” said SHO Jaikishan Soni.
He added that 10 Para personnel initially tried to locate Captain Gupta but informed their seniors after they failed. Search operations were carried out throughout Friday with no luck.
During the exercise, the commandos of the 10 Para had to throw their boats in the water and jump from a helicopter.
“After this, they were to attack the enemy by riding on a boat. Under this mission, four commandos led by captain Ankit threw their boat first into the Takhat Sagar reservoir and then jumped into the water themselves. Three commandos reached the boat, but Captain Ankit could not. After waiting a bit, the commandos started searching for him,” said a senior police official from Jodhpur.
28-year-old Ankit, a resident of Gurugram, got married less than two months ago on November 23, 2020.
“His passion for the army can be gauged from the fact that he stayed with his wife for a very little period after marriage and returned to complete his special training,” the police official said.
The unit, famously known as the Desert Scorpions, is among the most battle hardened units of the Indian Army.