The Hush Post| 9:25 am |one-minute-read
What brought down the Mi17 V5 chopper crash at Budgam near Srinagar on February 27 — which killed the six Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel on board? There are three possibilities being examined as potential causes. One of them is an inadvertent hit by an Indian Air Defence missile. That “could be one of the possibilities”, a highly placed source said on Friday.
This might have happened in the heat of the moment when dozens of Pakistani fighter jets came near the Line of Control (LoC) in the Naushera sector and the IAF aircraft were scrambled to take them on.
A few locals who were present at the spot have said that they heard a loud blast moments later the chopper came crashing down to the ground as smoke billowed. A local boy, Kifayat Hussain, also died in the crash.
“If the chopper was indeed hit by an Indian missile, it means there could be a failure of the system put in place to protect assets from friendly fire. But there is a big ‘if’ in all this,” the source said as reported by the NDTV.
“Other possibilities too cannot be ruled out such as a technical snag or the militants down below (in Kashmir). Things would become clearer after a forensic report of the chopper parts comes out,” as per an NDTV report.
The crash took place a day after the IAF carried out a strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot in Pakistan. Pakistan had claimed that it shot down two Indian “aircraft” on that day. A section of its media went to the extent of claiming the Mi17 was also shot down by the Pakistan Air Force fighter jets.
IAF spokesman Group Captain Anupam Banerjee has said: “In any flying accident, the court of inquiry looks into all the possibilities before conclusively establishing the cause of the accident.”