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06:19 PM, May 10, 2019
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An-12 aircraft (image: Military Today)

Fighters belonging to the Indian Air Force (IAF) intercepted and diverted Georgian Antonov An-12 transport aircraft from Tbilisi to Delhi via Karachi to land at the Jaipur airport, in the northwestern state of Rajasthan on Friday.

"One An-12 aircraft of Georgia entered Indian Air Space from an unscheduled point in North Gujarat, today at 1515h. The aircraft was successfully intercepted by highly alert IAF Air Defence aircraft and was forced to land at Jaipur airfield," the IAF tweeted Friday evening.

"It was a minor route violation, plane was made to land in Jaipur due to security concerns. It wasn't a serious violation, it's been released," Additional Commissioner of Police, Jaipur, told ANI.

The four-engined turboprop transport aircraft was let off after thorough questioning of the crew and investigation.

The plane entered the Indian air space around 70 km north of an important air base in the Rann of Kutch from the air space which is closed for civilian air traffic, according to the sources.

“The aircraft did not follow the authorized Air Traffic Services (ATS) route and was not responding to Radio calls from Indian controlling agencies. Since ATS routes in the area were closed due to the current geopolitical situation, and the aircraft entered Indian Air Space from an unscheduled point, the Air Defence interceptor on operational readiness was scrambled and vectored towards the unknown aircraft for investigation,” India’s defence ministry said in a statement.

The aircraft neither responded on international distress frequency nor to visual signals during interception, the statement added.

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