Kochi: The bodies of five NCC cadets, who drowned in Periyar River near Kochi, were airlifted to Delhi on Thursday morning by an IAF aircraft.
The bodies were taken to Delhi by five NCC officials from the Naval airport in Kochi.
Defence sources said floral tributes were paid to the departed on behalf of Defence Minister A K Antony, Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command Vice Admiral Satish Soni and NCC Director General Lt Gen P S Bhalla.
The students were part of the National Trekking Camp of the National Cadets Corps at Malayatoor, about 52 km from Kochi when the tragedy struck them on Wednesday. While two boys first slipped into the river as they were clicking photographs of the picturesque spot, the three others jumped to help them.
Earlier on Wednesday evening, the bodies of Hemant Kumar (15), a school student, Mohammed Zeeshan (18), Sabeesh Baqri (18) and Dilshad Alam (18) (students of the Jamia Milia Polytechnic) and Gulvez Ahamed (18) (student of Shaeed Bhagat Singh College) were brought here for post mortem and embalming.
About 700 odd NCC cadets from across the country have congregated at Malayattoor for the 8-day national level trekking camp which began on December 23.