Northeast

Aerial drills of Sukhoi MK-30 sparks off panic in Imphal city

The two fighter jets were launched from Tezpur Air Force Station for its routine aerial reconnaissance and has been stationing at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport since Wednesday.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated on 19 Nov 2020, 6:25 pm

Sukhoi MK-30 fighter jets land at airfield, Imphal (PHOTO: IFP)

Sukhoi MK-30 fighter jets land at airfield, Imphal (PHOTO: IFP)

 

Routine exercise of trial landing and aerial reconnaissance of two Sukhoi MK-30 fighter jets sparked off panic among people of Imphal since Wednesday.

It is said that the two fighter jets were launched from Tezpur Air Force Station for its routine aerial reconnaissance and has been stationing at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport since Wednesday. The reconnaissance is likely to be concluded on Friday.

On Wednesday, the two fighter jets were hovering across the Imphal city which panicked most of the people as such type of aerial reconnaissance is rare. The same jet planes were also seen flying over Imphal city on Thursday morning. 

A 90-year-old woman, Thoudam Ibetombi told IFP during an interaction that the hovering sound of the aircraft has reminded her of aerial bombing during World War II.

“I think a war is coming and that is why the jet planes have been flying frequently since yesterday,” said Ibetombi.

In some places, people were seen searching for the fighter jets in the sky from their courtyards and terraces.

Officials from Jhorat Air Force Station told IFP over the phone that similar aerial reconnaissance was also conducted at Guwahati and the schedule might be the same as it was in Imphal. The officials further said that the fighter jets are currently stationed at Bir Tikendrajit International Airport and will probably be leaving on Friday after completing the aerial reconnaissance. 

Meanwhile, similar air drills were carried out over Dimapur sky on Thursday, Newmai News Network reported. The drills will continue till November 21.

The programme for the air drills was informed to the media on November 17 by the Director of the Dimapur Airport, Airports Authority of India. They said the drills are “scheduled exercises and the public should not panic”.

The Indian Air Force Sukhoi SU-30 aircraft were seen taking part in the drills in the afternoon on Thursday.

According to media reports, like other civilian airports in the Northeast region, the Director said that the Dimapur Airport has been chosen for the purpose.

It can be noted here that similar air drills took place last year in Nagaland for several days. Wild speculations were spread then.

First published:19 Nov 2020, 5:32 pm

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IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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