March 27, 2023
ISLAMABAD – The Indian Army misfired three missiles during an exercise in the Pokharan ranges in the western Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan, causing alarm in the surrounding areas, according to the Indian media.
India Today reported that the firing exercise was being held at the Pokhran field when the three surface-to-air missiles were misfired.
The missiles struck fields in different villages, causing loud explosions, however, there were no reports of any loss of life or property damage.
The misfire was attributed to a technical glitch that occurred during the exercise.
India Today quoted defence spokesperson Lt Col Amitabh Sharma as saying an investigation had been initiated and further action will be taken accordingly.
According to the report, the debris from two of the misfired missiles has been recovered, but the third missile has not yet been located. Police and Army teams are currently conducting a search for the missing missile.
It added that the Indian Army was conducting a firing exercise when three missiles with a range of 10 to 25 kilometres deviated from their path due to a technical fault.
The misfired missile caused significant damage to the field, creating large crater in its impact zone.
Last year in August, the Indian government sacked three officers for accidentally firing a missile into Pakistan, an incident that the two nuclear-armed rivals handled calmly as there were no casualties.
“A Court of Inquiry, set up to establish the facts of the case, including fixing responsibility for the incident, found that deviation from the Standard Operating Procedures by three officers led to the accidental firing of the missile,” the Indian Air Force had said in a statement.
The BrahMos missile — a nuclear-capable, land-attack cruise missile jointly developed by Russia and India — was fired on March 9, prompting Pakistan to seek answers from New Delhi on the safety mechanisms in place to prevent accidental launches.
After the incident was reported, the Pakistan Foreign Office had summoned the Indian envoy to register a protest over the unprovoked violation of its airspace, saying such “irresponsible incidents” reflected the neighbouring country’s “disregard for air safety and callousness towards regional peace and stability”.