AMBALA: On the complaint of Indian Air Force (IAF) officials Tuesday, the Ambala police registered a case related to the incident of Jaguar aircraft receiving a hit by the flock of birds on June 27 while taking-off from the Ambala air base. In the complaint, the IAF officials have raised suspicion of unsafe action by unknown persons in close vicinity of Ambala airfield.

In his complaint, Group Captain Ashish Kumar, chief administrative officer at Air Force Station, Ambala Cantonment stated, "It is intimated that an aircraft incident took place at this base on June 27, 2019, at around 8.00 am due to bird hit in the vicinity of Baldev Nagar area closed to the boundary wall of Air Force Station Ambala. Further, it is suspected that the unsafe actions by unknown persons in close vicinity of airfield (encroachment) have been observed, which may result in unsafe conduct of operations leading to accidents causing loss of life of Air Force personnel and or civilian personnel amounting to culpable homicide not amounting to murder." 

"The case may be investigated on priority”, stated the IAF officer further. 

On Tuesday, the Ambala police registered a case against unknown accused under Section 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 289 (Negligent conduct with respect to animal), 308 (Attempt to commit culpable homicide), 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others), and 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Baldev Nagar police station. 

On June 28, the IAF had released a video of the incident which showed that when the Jaguar is taking off from Ambala air base, it encountered a hit by the flock of birds within just ten seconds when it took off from the runway at Ambala air base. The pilot’s swift decision of jettisoning Jaguar’s payload of two additional fuel drop tanks as well as carrier bomb light stores (CBLS) pods had averted a tragedy. 

Ambala superintendent of Police Abhishek Jorwal said, "We have registered a case as per complaint by the IAF officials and investigation will be carried on priority. We will identify if there are any slaughter houses or breeding of birds in the suspected areas and action will be taken as per law. The IAF officials suspect that someone intentionally left the birds on the day of incident.” 

Ambala Municipal Corporation (MC) joint commissioner Satinder Siwatch said, “Last week a meeting between IAF, district administration and commissioner MC was held when the IAF raised some concerns related to the safe operations at the Ambala air base. The IAF suspected breeding and attracting of birds in the residential areas along the boundary of the airfield, encroachments within 100 meters periphery of Air Force Station, and they have made it clear that no compensation will be awarded in case of any tragedy happens in the encroached areas.” 

A committee formed to identify encroachments and recommend action 

Sources disclose that a committee has been formed to identify the encroachments within 100 meters along the boundary wall of the Ambala airfield which will further recommend action against the encroachers.