Shooting down of Mi-17 chopper: Tribunal stays motion towards 2 IAF officers

New Delhi, September 14

An armed forces tribunal on Monday stayed disciplinary motion towards two officers who had been held chargeable for circumstances resulting in the taking pictures down of an Mi-17 helicopter of the IAF by its personal missile in Kashmir’s Budgam on February 27 final yr when the Indian and Pakistani air forces had been engaged in a fierce dogfight.

The disciplinary motion initiated by the Indian Air Force towards Group Captain SR Chowdhary and Wing Commander Shyam Naithani primarily based on a Court of Inquiry into the crash of the chopper has been stayed by the Principal Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal, Advocate Ankur Chibber, the lawyer of the 2 officers, stated.

A high-level probe by the IAF discovered {that a} surface-to-air missile of the pressure introduced down the chopper. Six IAF personnel on board the chopper and a civilian on the bottom had been killed within the crash.

The helicopter crashed in Budgam at round 10 am on February 27 when Indian and Pakistani fighter jets had been engaged in fierce aerial fight in Nowshera, a day after India’s air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist coaching camp in Balakot in Pakistan.

The helicopter went down round 10 minutes after taking off.

“Both the officers had challenged the court of inquiry as well as its findings on the grounds of violation of rule 156 sub clause two of air force rules,” Chibber stated, including in addition they questioned composition of the Court of Inquiry.

He stated the tribunal headed by Lt Gen Philip Campose (retd) and Justice Rajendra Menon discovered violations in formation of the CoI and directed that no motion must be taken towards the 2 officers. The subsequent date of listening to within the case September 30.

The probe had discovered that the ‘Identification of Friend or Foe’ (IFF) system on-board the helicopter was switched off and there have been “vital gaps” in communication and coordination between the bottom workers and the crew of the chopper.

It additionally discovered violations of normal working procedures. The IFF helps air defence radars establish whether or not an plane or helicopter is pleasant or hostile.

At his annual press convention on October four final yr, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria had referred to as the incident a “big mistake” and promised motion towards these discovered responsible.

Following the incident, the IAF transferred the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of Srinagar base to make sure a radical probe into the incident. — PTI


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