Naxal operations: IAF unhappy with inadequate security to choppers

New Delhi: Days after its chopper came under attack from Naxals in Chhattisgarh forcing it to land, the IAF is planning to complain to the home ministry about the "failure" of Central police forces to sanitise places around the designated landing zones in Maoist areas.

The IAF personnel involved in the incident are under attack for allegedly abandoning their chopper and an injured police trooper unguarded after landing safely.

 Naxal operations: IAF unhappy with inadequate security to choppers

IAF helicopters. Image courtesy PIB

On 16 January, an Mi-17 helicopter was forced to land after being hit by Naxal firing from ground while landing after which the IAF questioned the lack of security cover for its choppers while descending on a helipad in Naxal areas in Chhattisgarh.

"We are certainly going to take it up with home ministry," a senior IAF official said when asked whether the force would take up the issue with the home ministry which controls Central Armed Polices Forces such as the CRPF and the BSF.

In the particular incident, the IAF chopper was thrice given clearance by the CRPF to land at the designated spot there during a casualty evacuation mission but when the chopper descended it faced a volley of bullets from Naxals, they said.

Sources said after the incident, the IAF was refining its flying tactics over the thick-forested areas of Chhattisgarh and was also considering ways of flying the choppers with the rear-ramp open which can given a better aim to its security crew to retaliate when Naxals fire at them.

They, however, said such tactics had its own risks as this could provide more open access to attackers also.

Asked about the allegations that its Garud security guards abandoned the chopper and the injured CRPF trooper unguarded, they said the two security personnel got burnt when the firing resulted in leakage of fuel and hydraulic fuel.

The two Special Forces' guards were badly injured and it would have been difficult for them to even fire, they said.

PTI

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Updated Date: Feb 01, 2013 20:36:38 IST