Monday February 06, 2023

Worst day for IAF as it loses 2 MiG-21, MI-17 chopper

February 28, 2019

ISLAMABAD: It was one of the worst days for the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday as it lost three gigantic machines including two MiG-21 and one MI-17 chopper besides prestige and esteem. Its eight personnel including three pilots killed and one senior pilot was arrested on the soil of Pakistan whose plane was shot down by Pakistan and established India an ‘aggressor’ beyond shadow of any doubt.

According to Indian media six IAF personnel were killed Wednesday morning when an Mi-17 transport helicopter crashed in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. A civilian was also killed in the crash. The chopper crashed at around 10:am in an open field near Garend Kalaan village in Budgam, some 10:km from the Srinagar International Airport.

The villagers rushed to the area and made attempts to save those on board knowing that the victims were part of Indian occupying forces which have made the life in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) miserable. They could not help the persons on board since the helicopter was on fire and fully burnt.

Additional deputy commissioner Budgam said that they have recovered seven dead bodies near the crash site of MI-17. “It was not clear how the chopper crashed. Seven persons have died of which six were IAF personnel on board the helicopter while one was a civilian of the village. There was no other collateral damage,” official said. He said the civilian, Kifayat Ahmad Ganai, was by chance there when the chopper fell. “The chopper fell some 200 feet away from the nearby habitation,” he said. “The bodies were charred. Six of them were IAF personnel and one was a civilian. We have given the bodies to IAF and their identification will be done in due course,” he said.

On why the chopper crashed, another official said that it was a matter of investigation. “It will be premature to say anything. Circumstances of the incident are being inquired into,” he added.

The administration said that the spot was cleared after debris was removed. “The air force took away the debris,” he said. Owing to the curiosity hundreds of people gathered at the spot prompting the forces to use force to disperse them.

Locals said that they heard two blasts one after another. “We heard a loud bang in air when we saw the chopper and then another blast when it fell on ground,” said Liyaqat Mir, a resident of Budgam.

Another villager Nazir Wani said that they heard the blast in sky and saw the aircraft on fire. “The pilot tried a lot to maneuver the aircraft out of the village area and into a field and we also rushed there to save the pilot. There was so much fire that we could not save him. Then again there were blasts and everybody ran for their lives,” Wani said.

India lost two MiG planes while engaging Pakistan Air Force (PAF) planes as one fell in IHK while the other in Azad Kashmir. The two pilots were perished who were on the plane that fell in IHK and one pilot with Wing Commander rank was captured by troops in Azad Kashmir.

India falsely claimed that one Pakistan plane was shot down by the Indians but it proved incorrect. The IAF kept on lying the whole day that has deprived it credibility in the eyes of world opinion and more importantly in the eyes of Indian people.