Home Global Village Did India shoot down its own helicopter?

Did India shoot down its own helicopter?


News Desk |

Six Indian Air Force officers and a civilian were killed after an Indian Air Force (IAF) chopper crashed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam on Wednesday morning, a senior police officer told NDTV. The crash took place in the backdrop of a retaliatory strike by Pakistan Air Force aircraft and was followed by two Indian MiG21s shot down and a pilot captured. However, the crash of the helicopter has been ground in mystery.

Indian media has quickly jumped on the bandwagon that the “crash” was due to bad weather and technical fault. However, Indian media themselves have reported local witnesses stating that the helicopter broke into two and fell after being struck by “something”.

The Indian govt was at great pains to emphasize that they had somehow avenged PAF’s retaliatory strike into IOK. But perhaps this “Pakistani aircraft” shot down is sourced in the fog of war than black propaganda.

According to the Kashmir Reader, A local resident, who identified himself as Syed Arshad, narrated how the crash happened. “It was 10:09 in the morning; we had just finished our morning tea when we saw a chopper flying too close to our houses,” he said.
“It created panic in the area. When we came out of our homes to investigate, we found that the chopper had caught fire and flames were rising out of it. It fell down in the open in paddy fields,” Arshad said.

According to the Greater Kashmir, A witness said he saw an aircraft in flames coming down at Garend-Kalan village. “It fell on the ground with a loud bang and a thick cover of smoke and flames started emanating from it. I called a local police officer and informed him about the incident. Till the police reached the spot, locals tried to pull out those on board,” said Showkat Ahmad, a local resident.

Read more: “We lost MiG 21 and a pilot”: India admits

However, Indian media was beset on the Indian helicopter having crashed due to “glitch”. Indian reporters parroting the line were immediately taken to task by Social Media.

Meanwhile, Indian media was at great pain to paint the fatal crash of the helicopter as “an accident” and not a strike by PAF JF17s.

Their view was actually corroborated by Pakistan DG ISPR Major General Abdul Ghafoor who stated that Pakistan had nothing to do with the crash in Budgam.

International observers meanwhile also ruled out that Pakistani JF17s that were used in retaliation could not have struck down the helicopter as it was too far into Indian Occupied Kashmir.

An attack would also have gone against the perimeters of the Pakistani engagement which called for attacks without collateral damage as well as engagement from within its side of the Line Of Control. This leads to a new dimension of the Indian claims that ‘it had shot down a Pakistani aircraft”. While the Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesmen in a terse press briefing gave a one-liner that looked more like a run of the mill propaganda than anything else. In fact, the MEA conference was roundly criticized by Indian circles.

The Indian govt was at great pains to emphasize that they had somehow avenged PAF’s retaliatory strike into IOK. But perhaps this “Pakistani aircraft” shot down is sourced in the fog of war than black propaganda. The Pakistani side also faced it when the government erroneously thought it had two Indian pilots in custody in place of one.

The Russian defense ministry said Israeli jets put the Il-20 plane into the path of Syrian air defense systems after failing to give Moscow enough warning of a strike on Syrian targets.

It was perhaps in this fog of war that the Mi17v was shot down by Indian fire in IOK. Budgam while at least 120 km away from the LoC but it is only 27.3 km away from Srinagar where the airbase containing Indian MiG 21 interceptors are situated. It is plausible that during Pakistan’s nonfatal retaliatory strike that Indian air defenses or scrambling aircraft mistook their own helicopter as an enemy plane (conflated by Indian media as a F16) and shot it down.

It was this act of shooting down that was mistakenly reported by the Indian side as a “Pakistani aircraft” shot down. Such mistakes are common in violent conflicts the most recent was the downing of a Russian airplane in Syria on 18 September 2018. The Il-20 aircraft was returning to a Russian base on the north-western coast of Syria when it was shot down by Syrian defenses during an aerial incursion by Israeli jets. The Russian defense ministry said Israeli jets put the Il-20 plane into the path of Syrian air defense systems after failing to give Moscow enough warning of a strike on Syrian targets.

Read more: Pakistan shoots down two Indian Aircraft: DG ISPR

So it is plausible that the Mi17v was a victim of its own people who were in a panic or fog of war. So in order to deflect from this self-goal, Indian media is on overdrive in claiming an F16 was shot down, which has been clarified that were not used in the operation.

Facebook Comments