Did negligence on part of the NDA lead to the death of the cadet?
Ajitesh Goel, a fourth-term cadet of Romeo squadron at the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla had collapsed and died during a routine night navigation training exercise on February 2, 2012. Thereafter, questions were raised in respect of training and safety procedures followed in the NDA and a Court of Inquiry (CoI) was constituted to look into the matter.
However, the details of the CoI obtained by the parents of the cadet using the Right to Information (RTI) Act state that there was no lacunae on the part of NDA and that due procedures were followed prior to the exercise during which the incident occurred. As per the findings of the CoI, ambulance with nursing assistant was available at the starting point and testimonies of the cadets show that they were given proper meal and due rest before the exercise began. The cadets stated that suddenly Goel started to feel uneasy and fell down after having water after which he was rushed to the Military Hospital where he was declared dead.
However, questing the CoI report, the Goel's father alleged that the NDA was compiling false proceedings of his son's medical records. He claimed that the report only shows that Goel was admitted to Command Hospital between March 19 to April 1, 2012 and was discharged as SHAPE-1 and fit for all duties but there is no mention of the practice of cross-country run in September 2012 when again his son fainted. He also said that the findings of the presiding officer are missing from the CoI, and that he would appeal for the complete information.