New Delhi: Asserting that India’s missile system is very reliable and the safety procedures are of the highest order, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday described the recent accidental missile release as “regrettable” and said a review of standard operations and maintenance was being conducted and any shortcoming if found, will be immediately rectified.

Making a statement in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on the inadvertent release of a missile during an inspection on March 9, 2022, Singh said the government has taken serious note of the incident, and a formal high-level inquiry has been ordered which will determine the exact cause of the incident.

“During routine maintenance and inspection, a missile was accidentally released at around 7 pm. It was later learnt that the missile had landed inside the territory of Pakistan. While this incident is regretted, we are relieved that nobody was hurt due to the accident,” the minister said.

The minister also said Indian armed forces are well-trained and disciplined and are well experienced in handling such systems.

“I would also like to state that a review of the Standard Operating Procedures for operations, maintenance and inspections is being conducted in the wake of this incident. We attach the highest priority to the safety and security of our weapon systems. If any shortcoming is found, the same would be immediately rectified,” Singh said.

The Defence Minister assured the Parliament that India’s missile system is “very reliable and safe”.

“Moreover, our safety procedures and protocols are of the highest order and are reviewed from time to time. Our Armed Forces are well-trained and disciplined and are well experienced in handling such systems,” he added.

Singh made the statement in Rajya Sabha first and later in Lok Sabha.

Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar, the Director-General of the Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) of Pakistan, had claimed last Thursday that an unarmed projectile launched from India entered the Pakistani airspace travelling 124 km and fell near Mian Channu in Khanewal district.

Pakistan also summoned the Charge d’Affaires at the Indian embassy in Islamabad and conveyed its strong protest over the “unprovoked” violation of its airspace by what it described as a supersonic “projectile”.

Noting that the missile that landed in Pakistan was fired “accidentally” due to a technical malfunction, the defence ministry last Friday had also ordered a ‘Court of Enquiry’ into the incident.

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