NEW DELHI: A probe has been ordered into the death of two military cadets who collapsed during training last week due to dehydration and exhaustion. Five more cadets had also fallen ill but their condition was stable.
The cadets, who had recently joined the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun, had gone to Saharanpur district's Badshahi Bagh for a training camp.
During a 10-km run that aim to boost the cadets' stamina and endurance, seven cadets fell ill due to dehydration.
One cadet, Deepak Sharma, was rushed to a local medical centre as his condition was critical, the rest were evacuated to the military hospital at Dehradun.
Deepak Sharma, 22, from Punjab's Bhatinda died on Friday afternoon.
A second cadet, Nabin Kumar Chhetri, also died a few hours later at the military hospital.
A Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the death of two Indian Military Academy (IMA) cadets in Dehradun, news agency Press Trust of India said on Wednesday.
In a statement, the army had attributed the deaths to exhaustion and dehydration.
The Court of Inquiry would go beyond the prima facie conclusion and conduct a deeper probe into the cause and circumstances of the death of the two cadets and illness of five others. It is also expected to evaluate the health record of the cadets as well.
Given the risks involved during training, the army mandates that cadets have to get themselves insured for Rs 50 lakh for death, and Rs 20 lakhs for 100 percent disability. But cadets who end up with a severe disability and are boarded out do not get a pension but a monthly "ex-gratia" award.
In 2015, a defence ministry committee had criticised the practice of disallowing officer cadets from getting pension if they are injured during their training. In contrast, it pointed out that army jawans and police officers who are boarded out under similar conditions are entitled for a pension. In the last three years, 26 National Defence Academy cadets were declared unfit and withdrawn from training due to their injuries.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)