Three Indian Air Force officers have been sacked for the accidental firing of a BrahMos missile into Pakistan earlier this year, the government said Tuesday.
“A BrahMos missile was accidentally fired on 09 March 2022. 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 Air Force said in a statement.
“These three officers have primarily been held responsible for the incident. Their services have been terminated by the Central Govt with immediate effect. Termination orders have been served upon the officers on 23 Aug 22,” it added.
The missile was fired accidentally from the Indian side into an area in Pakistan in March, in an incident the Defence Ministry had called “deeply regrettable” and blamed on “technical malfunction”.
According to Pakistan, the missile flew more than 100 km inside their airspace, at an altitude of 40,000 feet and at three times the speed of sound, before it landed. There was no warhead on the missile, so it did not detonate.
The country’s foreign office said it had summoned India’s charge d’affaires in Islamabad to protest what it called an unprovoked violation of its airspace. Pakistan called for an investigation into the incident, which it said could have endangered passenger flights and civilian lives.
Pakistan warned India “to be mindful of the unpleasant consequences of such negligence and take effective measures to avoid the recurrence of such violations in future”.