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Own Goal: India Possibly Shot Down Its Mi17 V5 Chopper On February 27

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An Indian Air Force (IAF) attack helicopter crashed in Srinagar on February 27 due to ‘technical reasons’, but investigators in the country do not rule out a possibility of the chopper being shot by an air defence missile.

The Indian chopper went down the same day Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and captured him. The helicopter crashed in Srinagar killing 6 air personnel and one civilian on ground.

India claimed that the chopper crashed due to ‘technical fault’.

But investigators reveal that an Indian air defence missile was fired moments before the helicopter went down. ‘Reliable sources’ within the IAF told Economic Times that they were probing the matter and would not ‘shy away’ from initiating court martial proceedings against those involved.

Sources said that the missile, believed to be of Israeli origin, was activated after an air defence alert was sounded over occupied-Kashmir. The air defence might have mistaken their own chopper for a low-flying Pakistani unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and fired the missile.

“A slow moving target like the Mi 17 V 5 helicopter could potentially be mistaken for a low flying armed UAV homing into an air base,” the sources said. Moreover, the chopper crashed during the 10-minute span when PAF jets engaged with IAF jets and Indian air defence was on high alert.

Mi17V5 is one of the sturdiest choppers in service across the world and is not usually prone to technical faults of catastrophic nature. Eyewitnesses said that a loud bang was heard before the helicopter came crashing down.

On February 27, PAF shot down 2 Indian jets during a dog-fight. A Mig 21 Bison crashed in Pakistani territory after it was shot down, while another fell in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

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Naya Daur