Pakistani forces opened fire and hit an Indian Air Force AN-32 transport aircraft carrying Air Marshal V K Bhatia, air officer commanding-in-chief Western Air Command, in the Kargil Sector recently as he was inspecting troop preparedness on the border, highly placed defence sources said.
The air marshal's aircraft was hit in the Dras-Kargil Sector, where Pakistani gunners still occupy some vantage heights on their side of the Line of Control, causing minor damage with the pilot maneouvering it to land safely at Leh air base, they said.
The incident has caused ripples in the defence ministry with the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal S Krishnaswamy
taking a serious note of it and ordering a court of inquiry.
The government also took a serious view of the incident, which had the potential of escalating an Indo-Pak stand off, and dispatched the Chief of Army Staff General S Padmanabhan to the Kashmir Valley the next day to undertake a review of security scenario.
Padmanabhan spent two days in the valley visiting Dras and Kargil in an unannounced visit. The Indian forces as part
of the border mobilisation are undertaking an exercise labelled 'Operation Trishul' in the area.