2nd Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Balwant Rai MehtaToday we are going to tell you about the dark chapter of history which has probably been forgotten. Yes, the neighboring country of Pakistan had killed the 2nd Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Balwant Rai Mehta. Balwant Rai Mehta was CM of Gujarat from June 1963 to September 1965. Balwant Rai Mehta is considered to be the architect of Panchayati Raj for his contributions towards democratic decentralization. Balwant Rai Mehta was killed in the attack by the enemy aircraft while being the Chief Minister. At the time when the situation of war between India and Pakistan had remained, the CM’s plane was blown up by the fighter plane of the enemy near the border of Pakistan at the same time. In this sad incident, 8 people were killed by Pakistan.

On September 19, 1965, the then CM Balwant Rai Mehta was on the Kutch tour of the Gujarat. Mehta was accompanied by his wife Saroj Ben, three staff members, a journalist and two crew members. As soon as the CM aircraft flew from Mithapur to Kutch, it was intercepted Pakistan’s Fighter pilot Kais Hussain. Seeing Pakistani aircraft, Cm’s Beechcraft started moving its fans. It was a sign of mercy and abandonment. It was piloted by Jahangir Engineer, the former Indian Air Force pilot. The aircraft was shot down by Pakistan Air Force pilot Qais Hussain, assuming it to be a reconnaissance mission. Mehta was killed in the crash along with his wife, three members of his staff, one journalist and two crew member.

In August 2011, Pakistani fighter pilot, Qais Hussain who shot the plane down, wrote to the daughter of the Beechcraft pilot apologising for his mistake, “civilian plane was mistaken for a reconnaissance aircraft by Pakistani controllers, and he was ordered to shoot it down” The Pilot’s daughter also answered the letter and forgiven the father’s killer.

 

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