In a bizarre incident, some unknown person had posted an ad on classifieds website OLX to sell the old Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23BN fighter aircraft, a reminiscent of Kargil War, displayed at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
The aircraft was gifted to the University by the Indian Air Force in 2009. The University has ordered a probe to find who is behind the advertisement. The plane was listed at the price of Rs.9.99 crore.
The post on OLX about the sale of aircraft installed in the campus is wrong. University has not taken any step to auction or sell it. We are looking into the matter. It’s an attempt to defame the university: Mohd Wasim Ali, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Proctor (03.08.2020) pic.twitter.com/ht5OR1O50h— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 3, 2020
Prof Mohammad Wasim Ali, the University proctor, has stated that any present or former student or University member is not involved in the ad that has been posted on OLX. ANI quoted him saying, “The post on OLX about the sale of aircraft installed in the campus is wrong. University has not taken any step to auction or sell it. We are looking into the matter. It’s an attempt to defame the university.” However, there are speculations making rounds that some AMU members might be behind the advert.
When the information about the ad got viral on social media, the University informed the IT cell of the district administration, police and the classifieds website. The ad was later deleted from the website. The University administration said that they would take legal action against the person behind the mischief.
MiG-23 is part of the mechanical engineering curriculum at AMU
The AMU engineering students learn about the parts, technology and design of MiG-23. Prof MM Sufyan Beg, Principal of Zakir Husain College of Engineering and Technology, AMU said that aeronautical engineering is one of the subjects of mechanical engineering. Studying about the fighter jet is a part of the lab course of the curriculum.
Several decommissioned aircraft are installed in schools and universities
IAF has gifted several retired aircraft to many schools and colleges. The Modern School in Delhi has a Hawker Hunter (BA-241) installed at the premises. As per a Times of India report, AMU became the first University in Uttar Pradesh and seventh in India to receive a ground attack fighter plane of Indian Air Force in 2009 when the MiG-23 was installed in the premises.
28 years of service
The MIG-23BN, made by the Soviet Union in the 1970s, was introduced into the Indian Air Force on 24th January 1981. The fighter jet was decommissioned after 28 years of service on 6th March 2009. The IAF had used the aircraft in several crucial locations including Kashmir valley, Glaciers in Northern Ladakh and during the Kargil war.