Two IAF Officers Facing Court Martial For Chopper Crash During 2019 Aerial Strike

SRINAGAR: In the sensational case of shooting down a Mi-17 chopper during the aerial strikes in Pakistan territory in February 2019, a trial by General Court Martial (GCM) was started by IAF at Chandigarh. It will be trying two senior officers whose lapse led to the crash of a battle chopper and the killing of six IAF personnel including two pilots and a civilian.

An IAF MI-17 fighter helicopter crashed in Budgam on February 27, 2019.

The officer being tried include Group Captain SR Chowdhury and Wing Commander Shyam Naithani. Chowdhury was the then Chief Operations Officer and Naithani, the then Senior Air Traffic Controller at Srinagar Air Force Station. One civilian was also killed in the crash when the burning chopper landed in a Budgam locality.

It had been conclusively established in 2019 itself that a projectile launched from within Kashmir hit the battle chopper and not the enemy fire.

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“A court of inquiry (CoI) ordered to investigate the fratricide incident had held the two officers, along with several others, blameworthy for alleged lapses on their part and subsequent disciplinary action was recommended against them,” Chandigarh based newspaper, The Tribune reported. “The cases of others, including two Air Commodores, were disposed of by way of administrative action.”

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