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IAF officer probing accidental missile firing incident, prima facie fingers pointed at Group Captain

New Delhi : An Air Vice Marshal from the Air Force headquarters is carrying out a detailed investigation into the accidental firing of the tactical BrahMos supersonic cruise missile which landed in Pakistan on March 9. Government sources told ANI that the detailed probe by the Air Force officer (equivalent to Major General in the Army) is still going on but prima facie, a Group Captain-rank officer is being seen as blameworthy. The officer was in-charge of the mobile command post of the missile system when the accidental firing happened during a Command Air Staff Inspection (CASI) at its home base. However, the sources said the probe would be finalised in a time-bound manner and final details would be known only after that. The sources said the AVM probing the incident is highly qualified and is in-charge of operations in the Air Force headquarters. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on March 15 had stated in Parliament that a high-level probe has been ordered into the incident involving the accidental launch of a missile that landed in Pakistan. "A missile was unfortunately accidentally launched on March 9. The incident occurred during a routine inspection. We later came to know that it had landed in Pakistan," he had informed Rajya Sabha. Making it clear that the Indian missile system is extremely trustworthy and secure, the Defence Minister had stated that Indian armed forces are experienced in handling such systems. Pakistan has been trying to rake up the issue of accidental missile firing at the international stage without realising that the BrahMos missile is just a tactical system and was unarmed at the time of the incident. The missile also did not cause any major damage to property or any loss of life in the Mian Channu town of Pakistan. India has also regretted the incident.

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