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Election 2019

IAF shot down its own Mi17 chopper; officer set to face culpable homicide charge

New Delhi | The Indian Air Force has removed its Air Commanding Officer at the Srinagar Air Base amid an investigation of the Mi17 crash in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam during India-Pakistan tension in February this year.

The development has come in the incident which happened a day after the Balakot Air Strike conducted by the Indian Air Force when Pakistan Jets entered the Indian Air Space and engaged in an aerial dogfight.

A court of inquiry was placed in this incident where 6 people onboard were killed along with a civilian. Reports suggest that the IAF’s Mi17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) of IAF, which assumed the helicopter to be a hostile platform.

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

They said the IAF will initiate action based on the report of the CoI which could include charging the guilty with culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The sources said the CoI was also examining whether the Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF) system onboard the helicopter was switched off.

The IFF helps air defence radars to identify whether an aircraft or helicopter is friendly or hostile.

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