Chattisgarh govt to use IAF UAVs in naxal zones

The Chhattisgarh government is planning to use UAVs of the IAF to conduct reconnaissance of naxal-hit areas even as security forces are mulling entering the Maoist stronghold of Abujhmad -- an unexplored jungle area in Bastar.

Raipur: The Chhattisgarh government is
planning to use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) of the Indian
Air Force to conduct reconnaissance of naxal-hit areas even as
security forces are mulling entering the Maoist stronghold of
Abujhmad -- an unexplored jungle area in Bastar.

"We are in talks with the IAF to get the help of their
different variants of UAVs which can fly over the naxal-hit
areas in the state and provide us surveillance of the ground.

The IAF has its UAVs presently at Nagpur and we plan to use
them from a base in Jagdalpur," Director General of Police
(DGP) Vishwa Ranjan told a news agency.

Abujhmad, a densely forested area in state`s southern
part in Bastar has an area of around 7,000 square kilometres
and is considered to be the headquarters of the naxals. The
area is also inhabited by tribals and the government machinery
has hardly reached this area.

"The renewed effort is to push out naxalites in
Abujhmarh by conducting joint operations with central forces
like CRPF and BSF," Ranjan said.

The state government is also imparting jungle warfare
training to an increasing number of policemen to help them
undertake such special operations with the help of central
security forces.

We are sending our officers and personnel to train at the
Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare (CTJW) college located at
Kanker. Almost three to four thousand personnel are being
recruited and simultaneously inducted into Chhattisgarh
police per year, he said.

The last such co-ordinated operation was undertaken in
1996 at Abujhmarh. Since then no central force or police unit
has established its post there.

Brigadier (retd) B K Ponwar, who is the Director of the
CTJW, separately said the state policemen are trained in
conditions and terrain similar to Abujhmad and a good number
of such policemen are all prepared to undertake special

"My motto to these policemen is that fight a guerrilla
like a guerrilla. The policemen here are trained to develop
themselves as fearless and sharp commandos. They should
respond to any challenge or attack from naxalites with a quick
reflex and accurate firepower," Ponwar said.

Ponwar has single-handedly trained more than 16000 police
and central forces` personnel at his college.

The college was set-up by the state government six years
ago to cater exclusively to the training of police personnel
who undertake anti-naxal operations and is the only
institution of its kind in the country.

Ranjan, the police chief of the 53,000-personnel strong
force, said efforts to detect deep hidden landmines are under
progress. These landmines have been the cause of death
of the maximum number of police forces in the state.

"An anti-mine vehicle manufactured by a Israeli firm may
soon carry out tests to detect land mines and Improvised
Explosive Devices (IEDs), stealthy put under the ground. It is
a robotic vehicle which works on cat-scan principle and costs
about Rs 20 crore," he said.


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