Indian Air Force’s investigation of its procedures for operations after accidentally launching a missile is pointing towards a Group Captain rank officer for firing the unarmed BrahMos supersonic missile into Pakistan. The probe is being conducted by an Air Vice Marshal-rank officer who is posted at the Air Headquarters and is most qualified to conduct the investigation, top government sources told India Today.
The BrahMos missile was accidentally fired from an air base and landed inside Pakistan at a place called Mian Channu. The Pakistan government had registered its objection over the incident but much before that, an investigation had been launched by India to fix accountability, the government said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on March 15 said that a high-level investigation has been ordered into the that lead to the accidental launch of a missile into Pakistani territory on March 9.
“A missile was unfortunately accidentally launched on March 9. The incident occurred during a routine inspection. We later came to know that it had landed in Pakistan.” I would like to inform the House that the government has taken serious note of the incident. A formal high-level inquiry has been ordered. The inquiry would determine the exact cause of the said accident,” Rajnath Singh had informed the Parliament.
He further added that operations, maintenance, and inspections are conducted following a set of standard operating procedures, which are being evaluated.
“Any laxity found in the safety and security of our weapons systems will be dealt with immediately. Our missile system is extremely trustworthy and secure. Our armed forces are experienced in handling such systems,” Rajnath said.
Pakistan has asked for a joint probe into the incident, demanding clarifications from New Delhi over its safety mechanism to prevent accidental missile launches.
Pakistan’s foreign minister raised the issue with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres by telephone on Monday, where he stressed the need for the international community, including the Security Council, to address the situation.
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