The Indian Air Force, in its enquiry, has found more than one official guilty in the case of the "accidental" firing of an armed supersonic missile into Pakistani territory, sources said, adding that severe action would be taken against the persons found guilty.The enquiry is being conducted by Air Vice Marshal R.K. Sinha, who is probing how the missile got fired during routine maintenance work.An unarmed supersonic missile "accidently" took off from Sirsa and landed at a place 124 km within Pakistani territory on March 9 evening. The Indian Defence Ministry had "regretfully" explained it as "a technical malfunction".The ministry had said that on March 9, in the course of routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile.
The Indian government has taken a serious view and "ordered a high-level court of enquiry"."It is learnt that the missile landed in an area of Pakistan. While the incident is deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident," said the ministry.The Pakistan Foreign Ministry had warned New Delhi of "unpleasant consequences" over what it claims was an Indian originated, but unidentified high-altitude supersonic object that crashed in its territory.It had urged India to take effective measures to avoid such violations in the future. Pakistan claimed a supersonic missile took off from Sirsa and landed within Pakistani territory. Cruising at an altitude of 40,000 feet, the missile endangered passenger flights in both Indian and Pakistani airspace, and also civilians and property on the ground, it said.
Pakistan had stated that at 6.43 p.m. on March 9, a high-speed flying object was picked up inside Indian flying territory by Air Defence Operations Centre of the Pakistani Air Force. From its initial course the object suddenly maneuvered towards Pakistani territory and violated Pakistan's airspace ultimately falling near Mia Channu.When it fell, it damaged some civilian property however there was no loss or injury to human life was caused.
Major General Iftikhar said has "initiated requisite tactical actions in accordance" with the Standard Operating Procedures.Pakistan had picked up missile at a high-altitude of 40,000 feet and it was traveling at a speeding axis of Mach 2.5 and ultimately Mach 3.The total distance it travelled inside Pakistan was 124 km. From the total flight time of 6 minute 46 seconds till it hit the ground, it was in Pakistani territory for 3 minutes and 44 seconds.