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October 2019
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Netherlands'' King Willem-Alexander , Queen Maxima, gets warm welcome in Alappuzha        PM Modi has no understanding of economy: Rahul        INX Media: Chidambaram conspired with son, misused official position, says CBI charge sheet        US dream shattered, 311 Indians land in Delhi after deportation from Mexico        US to host 2020 G7 summit at a Trump golf resort        Trump speaks over phone with Turkey''s Erdogan over cease-fire in Syria        Twin blasts in Afghanistan''s mosque kill 62        China''s Q3 GDP growth slows to 6%, slowest in 27 years        Ranchi Test: India eye clean sweep against Proteas        Pakistan sacks Sarfaraz as captain in Test, T20I formats        Mentally-unstable man jumps inside lion enclosure in Delhi zoo, escapes unhurt        BSF jawan killed, 1 injured in firing by Bangladeshi troops along border in West Bengal        At least 35 people killed in bus accident in western Saudi Arabia        UK, EU hail new Brexit deal, but Parliament sign-off hangs in balance        Nearly 100 people injured in Catalonia unrest on Wednesday: Medics        Indo-Pak bilateral ties subject to approval from PMs of both countries: Ganguly        Aiden Markram ruled out of Ranchi Test with wrist injury        Indian challenge ends at Denmark Open        Aussie cricketer Watson apologies for 'illicit' social media posts        India's performance was no match to atmosphere at Salt Lake: Chhetri        
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Main News
Shooting down chopper on Feb 27 was 'big mistake', action against officers: IAF chief
 
New Delhi: Air Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria on Friday described as a "big mistake" the IAF shooting down its helicopter in Kashmir on February 27, when Indian and Pakistani forces were engaged in a dogfight, and said disciplinary action is being taken against officers held responsible for the incident.

A surface-to-air missile of the Indian Air Force brought down the Mi-17 aircraft in Budgam in the Kashmir Valley, killing six IAF personnel on board the chopper and a civilian on the ground.

The court of inquiry (CoI) ordered into the incident has completed its probe and it has been established that the helicopter was hit by IAF's own missile, Bhadauria, who over as chief of the Air Force on Monday, said while addressing his first press conference.

"It has been established that the helicopter was hit by our own missile. We have already taken administrative action. Disciplinary action is being taken against two officers. We admit that it was a big mistake and necessary steps have been taken so that such incident does not recur," he said ahead of Air Force Day on October 8.

Before the press conference, the IAF showed representational video clips of the Balakot strike.

Administrative action has already been taken against four officers held responsible for the helicopter crash by the CoI. Separately, disciplinary action like court martial procedures are being initiated against two senior officers, IAF officials said.

The probe found there were "vital gaps" in communication and coordination between the ground staff and the crew of the chopper. It also found violations of standard operating procedures.

Earlier, military sources said the probe found that the 'Identification of Friend or Foe' (IFF) system on-board the helicopter was switched off and there were "vital gaps" in communication and coordination between the ground staff and the crew of the chopper.

It also found violations of standard operating procedures. The IFF helps air defence radars identify whether an aircraft or helicopter is friendly or hostile.

The helicopter crashed in Budgam around 10 am on February 27 when Indian and Pakistani fighter jets were engaged in fierce aerial combat in Nowshera, a day after India's air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp in Balakot in Pakistan.

The helicopter went down around 10 minutes after taking off.

Official sources said the helicopter was asked to return because of the dogfight 100 km away from Srinagar. A missile was fired at the helicopter as the IAF ground staff thought it was an enemy chopper.

The IAF headquarters had ordered a CoI into the incident under an Air Commodore-ranked officer.

In early May, the IAF transferred the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of Srinagar base to ensure a thorough probe into the incident.

Sources said the CoI was also specifically focusing on examining the role of various people, including those controlling the air defence system when the helicopter was hit by the surface-to-air missile.


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