India on Wednesday night cleared the China-bound cargo plane of UAE’s Air Force to leave the country after being detained in Kolkata for four days for carrying arms and ammunition.
The External Affairs Ministry has given the green signal to the Ministry of Defence and Customs authorities that the C-130 Hercules plane can be allowed to leave the NSC Bose International Airport, official sources said. The aircraft has been grounded since Sunday evening.
Airport sources in Kolkata said the airplane which had 10 crew members including the pilot, who were thoroughly interrogated, is likely to resume its flight on Thursday at around 9 am. The flight originated from UAE Capital Abu Dhabi.
The Indian government gave the clearance a day after it said that it was told by UAE authorities that its pilot had committed a “technical error” over declaring the onboard arms and ammunition for which they expressed regret.
An External Affairs Ministry statement said on Tuesday the matter will be resolved in the spirit of the close and friendly ties between India and the UAE and that “we will facilitate early release of the aircraft.”
The statement said the UAE authorities both in New Delhi and Abu Dhabi have since formally regretted the omission in clearly indicating items carried by the aircraft and have described it as a “technical error.”
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna had also said that in view of the “friendly relations” India had with the UAE he was in consultation with other departments of the government and take a call.