New Delhi, August 23 (KMS): Three officers of the Indian Air Force were sacked on Tuesday for the March 9 firing of a Brahmos missile that landed in Pakistan.
An official statement said the services of the officers were terminated after a Court of Inquiry (CoI) found that deviation from the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) by them led to the accidental firing of the missile.
Following the incident, the Indian Defence Ministry described it as “deeply regrettable” while Pakistan lodged a strong protest over it.
“A BrahMos missile was accidentally fired on March 9. A Court of Inquiry (Col), set up to establish the facts of the case, including fixing responsibility for the incident, found that deviation from the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) by three officers led to the accidental firing of the missile,” the statement said.
“These three officers have primarily been held responsible for the incident. Their services have been terminated by the central government with immediate effect. Termination orders have been served upon the officers on August 23,” it said.
Though the Indian Air Force did not mention the ranks and names of the officials whose services have been terminated, Indian media reports say that a Group Captain is among the three.
The incident had taken place on March 9 and Pakistan had lodged its protest with India the next day.
On March 11, the Defence Ministry said the missile was fired accidentally and it landed in Pakistan.
Following the incident, Pakistan summoned India’s Charge d’Affaires in Islamabad and conveyed its strong protest over the “unprovoked” violation of its airspace by the supersonic “projectile” of Indian origin.