New Delhi, Aug 23 (EFE).- The Indian Air Force on Tuesday fired three officials for the “accidental” launch of a missile in March, which fell into Pakistani territory without any casualties, triggering protests by the neighboring country.
“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 IAF said in a statement.
It added that the three officials have been “terminated with immediate effect.”
The incident took place on Mar. 9 when an Indian missile flew into the Pakistani airspace and fell into the eastern Punjab province, damaging several civilian structures.
Islamabad summoned the Indian envoy to register a protest against the “unprovoked violation” of its airspace and urged New Delhi to investigate the incident.
On Mar. 11, India attributed the launch to a “technical error” during a routine maintenance activity and launched a probe.
The two atomic power neighbors have maintained tense relations for decades, mainly due to their dispute over the Muslim-majority Kashmir region.
They have fought two wars and clashed in several minor conflicts over the idyllic Himalayan territory.
In 2019, the two sides witnessed their worst military escalation in decades, when India claimed to have carried out cross-border strikes on a camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group.
The JeM had claimed the 2019 bombing in India-administered Kashmir – the worst in three decades – in which 42 security personnel were killed.
Tensions again peaked in August 2019 when New Delhi revoked the special semi-autonomous status of the disputed Kashmir region. EFE