Court of inquiry on Budgam Helicopter crash begins

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Published: May 21, 2019 8:48:33 PM

Confirmed that the incident happened as a result of friendly fire, according to sources “strict action will be taken against the officials to ensure that such incidents don’t happen either during war situation or any operations against India’s adversaries.”

Court of inquiry, Budgam Helicopter, Helicopter crash begins, Indian Air Force Act, AOC, Indian Penal Code, IAF, defence newsCourt of inquiry on Budgam Helicopter crash begins (File)

If one senior Indian Air Force Officer (IAF) and three other personnel are found guilty in a court of inquiry of shooting down Mi17 helicopter in Budgam on Feb 27, none will be spared even under ‘fog of war’.

These men are expected to be booked for “culpable homicide not amounting to murder” for the incident that happened on Feb 27 when a Mi-17 helicopter crashed and killed six IAF personnel. The incident had taken place when the Indian forces were on high alert after an intrusion of Pakistan Air Force fighter jets.

Along with section 72 of the Indian Air Force Act, 1950, these officials will be tried under Section 299 of the Indian Penal Code too.

Confirmed that the incident happened as a result of friendly fire, according to sources “strict action will be taken against the officials to ensure that such incidents don’t happen either during war situation or any operations against India’s adversaries.”

The Court of Inquiry against IAF personnel into the incident is underway, followed by the next step of ‘summary of evidence’, which is similar to a charge sheet.

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Sources have also confirmed that the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of the Srinagar Air Base, who is the most senior officer of the base, has been moved out to ensure that the probe into the crash is impartial.

As it was approaching the air base, on Feb 27 the helicopter which was in contact with air traffic control (ATC) was hit by a missile fired by the Israeli-made Spyder air defence system. The Court of Inquiry looking for lack of coordination between the ATC, the Srinagar Air Base, and others.

According to sources, it is clear that “The weapons were fired at the helicopter by the operators as they mistook it as an unmanned helicopter going their way. This happened even though the ATC was in touch with the Srinagar Air Base.”

Sources have confirmed that the helicopter’s Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF) — a transponder-based identification system was switched off. It was switched off as it interferes with the transmission of the civilian aircraft, and also because the aircraft could be identified by the enemy during battle.

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