First to enter Kargil fight zone, declare IAF pilots Sreevidya, Gunjan Saxena

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 17

A significant controversy has erupted over which girl pilot of the IAF was ‘first’ into the battle zone throughout the Kargil warfare (May-July 1999).

IAF silent on row

The IAF is, thus far, silent on the controversy of who was ‘first’ to enter the battle zone, whilst Sreevidya Rajan says she stands by her declare, Gunjan Saxena has retorted again “won’t let anyone take away my achievements”.

Just days after the film ‘Gunjan Saxena — The Kargil Girl’ was launched, Sreevidya Rajan, one other girl pilot, has claimed that she was the primary into battle at Kargil and never Gunjan Saxena, who has retorted again “Won’t Let Anyone Take Away My Achievements”.

The IAF is, thus far, silent whilst part of its historical past is now a part of common cinema and being watched by lakhs. The Tribune has emailed an in depth questionnaire to the IAF, on these new claims.

It all began on Monday when Sreevidya wrote on her Facebook publish: “I was the first woman pilot to be sent along with the male counterparts in the first detachment of our unit which was deployed at Srinagar. I flew missions in the conflict area even before Gunjan’s arrival at Srinagar.”

Speaking to The Tribune over telephone she mentioned she stood by her FB publish.

On being requested to why she by no means reacted even when the film was introduced some two years in the past, she mentioned: “I had thought this was a movie about Gunjan Saxena’s life. Now after seeing the movie and how it has presented the IAF in poor light, I spoke up as I was the other women officer present there.”

Saxena, wrote a blogpost in response saying “I was the first woman to fly in a combat zone…”.

She mentioned it was an open problem to anyone who refutes these details. 

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