India: Kerala policeman salute rescuers of Air India Express flight, land in trouble

Dubai: Kerala police have initiated an internal probe into the incident in which a police officer, saluted volunteer rescuers, who pulled out victims of the flight that crashed at Kozhikode international airport on Friday. Images of a police personnel saluting those who helped rescue those in the crashed Air India Express flight AI-IX1344 from Dubai to Kozhikode went viral on social media on Sunday.


Tweep @Forumkeralam1 posted: “Kerala Police offers a salute to the brave souls who were at the forefront of the rescue operation at the air crash site and who are under quarantine currently.”


A Facebook user@Nithinraj posted: “It’s a great gesture, and there is nothing to feel offended.”


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The officer in the photo was identified as Nisar A., a senior civil police officer attached to the state police control room.


Talking to media, the police department clarified that the salute was not an ‘official’ act and the cop in the photo did it on his own.


A twitter user@ShihabA06762109 commented: “It’s a really proud moment for the local people. There are many lessons to be learned from this picture. May Allah bless us all.”


Some of the passengers were tested positive for COVID-19, and that led to the rescuers to go into quarantine. Since then, hundreds have been moved to quarantine facilities, while others are in self-isolation at homes. While the selfless rescue efforts have won the people praises across the country and beyond, an act by a policeman has divided opinions in the state.


Another Tweep@iam_nibi tweeted: “That’s a very good gesture from Kerala police.”

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While many even in the police department saw it as a harmless, goodwill gesture, which was a spontaneous reaction of the cop, others felt that it was inappropriate for a uniformed officer to salute civilians, reportedly.


The Air India Express plane with 191 people on board, overshot the rain-soaked runway at Karipur airport near the southern city of Kozhikode or Calicut on Friday. The Boeing 737 landed in a tailwind, skid off the runway and broke in half. Sixteen people, including both the pilots, died in the crash.


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