The Indian Army may have shot down its own helicopter in Indian-Administered Kashmir’s Budgam thinking that it belonged to Pakistan. Six Indian armed forces personnel and a civilian were killed in the incident.
According to the Economic Times, investigators have found that an Indian air defence missile was fired shortly before the Mi17 V5 helicopter crash on February 27.
The publication reported that air force officials will not shy away from initiating a court martial against personnel found blameworthy in the incident.
Sources said that the missile – believed to be of Israeli origin – was activated after an air defence alert was sounded over Jammu and Kashmir, besides other parts of the border, after over 25 Pakistani jets were detected along the border on the morning of February 27.
The alert, sources said, indicated that Pakistani jets may be trying to breach the border for a strike on Indian military targets and there were concerns that armed UAVs available with that country may also have been deployed. A slow moving target like the Mi 17 V5 helicopter could potentially be mistaken for a low flying armed UAV homing into an air base, according to these sources.
The Indian authorities are now trying to determine if lapses took place and where.
Pakistan has denied shooting down the helicopter.