The shooting down of an Mi-17 V5 helicopter flying over Srinagar on February 27, a day after the Balakot strikes, was a “big mistake”, the Indian Air Force Chief Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria said today.
Six IAF personnel and a civilian were killed in the incident.
“Our missile hit (the helicopter). This has been established. Administrative action and disciplinary action is being taken. It was a big mistake. We accept it,” Air Chief Bhadauria said, adding that a Court of inquiry had completed its sittings last week.
The Mi 17 V5 chopper was shot down at Budgam near Srinagar a day after Indian Air Force fighters went into Pakistani territory and bombed a terror training facility at Balakot.
A court of inquiry found that the chopper was brought down by the Spyder air defence missile system at the Srinagar air base. The officers who handled the air defence system mistook the helicopter for an incoming missile, it was found.
Action was being taken against these two officers.
The helicopter crashed 10 minutes after take-off. Visuals showed the wrecked fuselage of the IAF chopper in flames and a large number of villagers standing around it.
The Mi-17 chopper broke into two and caught fire immediately.
The incident took place a day after the Balakot strike was carried out by India in retaliation against the terror attack in Pulwama in which 40 soldiers were killed. A day after these strikes, Pakistan and India were caught in a dogfight, and it was the same day that this chopper was shot down.
Source : Various