New Delhi, Oct 24: The four Indian army personnel, whose helicopter mistakenly landed in Pakistan-held territory yesterday, were grilled for about four hours but were treated well.
Army sources here said today that the Pakistan army personnel questioned the two pilots and two crew members about how they came there and other related issues in an effort to ascertain their motives.
Once satisfied that the incident was inadvertent, the Pakistan army released pilots Maj Raja and Maj Kapila along with Lt Col Verma and Akhilesh Sharma of Engineering Corps. The pilots of the chopper, flying from Leh to Bhimbhat in Jammu and Kashmir on a routine sortie, went across the Line of Control at around 1320 hours after bad weather encountered them and they wanted to land at the nearest helipad.
But soon after the landing, the pilots and two other personnel of the Indian Army realised that the helipad was not in the Indian territory but in Pak-controlled Northern Areas. The military helipad was located in Olding sector near Skardu, about 20 km from the Line of Control (LoC) in Kargil sector, Army sources said here today.
Once on the ground, they were surrounded by the Pakistani army and escorted to the nearby building, they said. They were questioned but treated well, the sources said.
Sources said seconds after the Cheetah flew across the LoC, an Indian post in Kargil informed higher formations about movement of a chopper. However, they thought it was a Pakistani helicopter which had violated the Indian airspace.
But later as picture got clear, all the higher formations including the Leh-based 14 Corps, Northern Command and Army Headquarters here were informed about the actual situation. After their return, the four Army personnel are being debriefed about the whole incident.