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3 Indian Air Force officers sacked for accidentally firing missile into Pakistan

The unarmed missile had crashed into Mian Channu in Khanewal district, Punjab, Pakistan and the officers have primarily been held responsible for the incident after the enquiry.

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New Delhi: The Central government on Tuesday terminated the services of three officers of the Indian Air Force who have been found responsible for accidental firing of BrahMos missile that landed in Pakistan on March 9 this year.

The unarmed missile had crashed into Mian Channu in Khanewal district, Punjab, Pakistan and the officers have primarily been held responsible for the incident after the enquiry.

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The Court of Inquiry (Col) constituted to establish the facts of the case, including fixing responsibility for the incident, found that deviation from the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) by three officers led to the accidental firing of the missile, the IAF said in a statement.

Termination orders have been served upon the officers on Aug 23, the IAF added.

Regretting the incident, India had admitted that a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile in Pakistan.

“On 9 March 2022, in the course of a routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile,” the Indian Defence Ministry had said after the incident.

It had further said that the government took a serious view of the incident and ordered a high-level Court of Enquiry.

“While the incident is deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident,” the Defence Ministry added.

However, Pakistan demanded a joint probe into the incident of India’s accidental missile fire to establish the facts in the matter.

“Indian decision to hold an internal court of inquiry is not sufficient since the missile ended up in Pakistani territory. Pakistan demands a joint probe to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident,” Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said in a statement.

Pakistan posed several questions regarding the incident.

“Such a serious matter cannot be addressed with the simplistic explanation proffered by the Indian authorities,” Pakistan further said.

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