India sacks 3 officers for 'accidental firing' of missile into Pakistan
By Anadolu Agency
NEW DELHI (AA) – India on Tuesday said that it has sacked three officers from the Indian Air Force who have been held responsible for the accidental firing of a BrahMos missile into Pakistan in March.
The country's Defense Ministry in March said that it is conducting a “high-level inquiry” and reviewing standard operating procedures after a missile was launched into arch-rival Pakistan.
A statement by the Indian Air Force on Tuesday said that a Court of Inquiry was 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,” it said.
It also said that the three officers "have primarily been held responsible for the incident."
Their services have been terminated by the central government with immediate effect, the statement noted, adding that termination orders have been served upon the officers on Aug. 23.
In March, India said that “in the course of routine maintenance, a technical malfunctioning led to the accidental firing of a missile.”
After the incident, Pakistan had called for a joint investigation to “accurately establish” the facts after the Indian missile landed in Mian Channu, a town in northeastern Punjab province, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) from the Indian border.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry also summoned the Indian charge d’affaires in the capital Islamabad and lodged a strong protest over the violation of their country’s airspace.