India’s missile system safe: Rajnath

New Delhi, March 15 : Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said a review of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for operations, maintenance and inspections was being conducted following the accidental firing of a missile by India which landed in Pakistan. Making identical statements in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, Rajnath Singh said India’s missile system was “very reliable and safe” and its “safety procedures and protocols are of the highest order”. Making a statement on the inadvertent firing of a missile which landed in Pakistan, he said India attaches the “highest priority to safety and security of its weapon systems”. “If any shortcoming is found, the same will be immediately rectified. “During routine maintenance and inspection, a missile was accidentally released at around 7 pm. It was later learnt that the missile had landed inside the territory of Pakistan. While this incident is regretted, we are relieved that nobody was hurt due to the accident,” the Minister said. He said a high-level inquiry had been ordered by the government. “The inquiry will determine the exact cause of the said accident.” Rajnath Singh also said that a review of the SOP for operations, maintenance and inspections was being conducted. Moreover, safety procedures and protocols were of the highest order and were reviewed from time to time, he said. “Our Armed Forces are well-trained and disciplined and are well experienced in handling such systems.” Pakistan on Saturday demanded a joint probe into the incident of India’s accidental missile fire to “accurately establish” the facts in the matter, saying that India’s decision to hold an internal court of inquiry was not enough. ASU AO MR

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