An unidentified balloon-shaped object picked up by the Indian Air Force’s radar was intercepted and shot down on Tuesday. (ANI)
An unidentified balloon-shaped object picked up by the Indian Air Force’s radar was intercepted and shot down over Barmer on Tuesday even as Republic Day celebrations continued amid an unprecedented security blanket in Delhi.
“An IAF fighter was launched which intercepted the object and brought it down. Further investigation is on,” an IAF official said on condition of anonymity. The incident was reported between 10.30am and 11am, he said.
An IAF team was sent to the site in Gugdi shortly after the incident.
Meanwhile, panic gripped villages in the district after the loud explosion was heard in the afternoon.
The villagers living in Gugri and Panawara villages claimed that the explosion was so loud that cracks developed in some of the houses in the villages.
“The explosion was loud... and we saw some objects falling from the sky... my house has developed cracks,” said Manohar Singh, a resident of Gugri village.
A police team was rushed to these villages, which found cone-shaped metallic objects.
“We are in touch with the IAF officials and are sending them the pieces for further analysis,” a statement issued by Barmer police said.
News agency PTI quoted a defence source as saying the object could be a meteorological balloon.
Another official said the force was on high alert on the 67th Republic Day and the object was flying in from the western sector.
Earlier, an ANI report said an IAF jet accidentally dropped five bombs in Barmer, resulting in an explosion.
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