Accidental missile firing: Probe finds human error as likely reason

New Delhi: Human error appears to be the likely reason for the accidental firing of a missile into Pakistan two weeks ago, people familiar with the ongoing probe into the incident said on Wednesday.

The Court of Inquiry probing the incident is learnt to have been examining the role of a Group Captain and a few other officials for their alleged lapses, they said.

There is no official comment on the matter yet.

The incident had taken place on March 9, following which Pakistan had lodged a strong protest with India the next day.

“Human error appears to be the reason for the incident in the ongoing probe,” one of the people familiar with the ongoing probe said.

On March 11, the Defence Ministry said the missile was fired accidentally and it landed in Pakistan.

The ministry described the incident as “deeply regrettable” and that it was caused by a technical malfunction in the course of the routine maintenance of the missile.

The defence ministry said the government has taken a serious view of the incident and ordered a high-level probe into it.

Separately, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Parliament on March 15 that the standard operating procedures for operations, maintenance, and inspection of such systems were being reviewed.

Following the incident, Pakistan summoned India’s Charge d’Affaires in Islamabad and conveyed its strong protest over the “unprovoked” violation of its airspace by the supersonic “projectile” of Indian origin.

The Pakistan foreign office had said the “supersonic flying object” entered into Pakistan from India’s Suratgarh and fell to the ground near Mian Channu city, causing damage to civilian property.

The Pakistan foreign office also called for a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident and demanded that its outcome be shared with Islamabad.

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