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Naxals down IAF chopper in Chhattisgarh - Inside story

In yet another incident of Naxal attack, Maoist rebels opened fire at an Indian Air Force helicopter in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, on January 18.

Zeenews Bureau

Raipur: In yet another incident of Naxal attack, Maoist rebels opened fire at an Indian Air Force helicopter in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, on January 18.

Following the incident, the pilot was forced to leave amid the intense firing and for some time, the helicopter went off the radar, but finally managed to make an emergency landing at a jungle area in Sukma district`s Chintalnar.

However, the chopper was traced soon, official sources had confirmed.

As per exclusive details gathered by Zee 24 Ghante Chhattisgarh, Pilot TA Singh was flying the Mi-17 chopper and was accompanied by co-pilot Rohit, Commandoes Manoj, PS Thapa, JS Chaudhary and wireless operator MR Sahu.

In a lengthy gun battle with Maoists at Pollampalli, some 500 km south of Raipur, the wireless operator had got injured while rest of the crew landed safely, as per the exclusive details.

The reports further said, “The IAF helicopter made an emergency landing and safely reached a nearby paramilitary camp.”

According to an exclusive byte given to Zee 24 Ghante Chhattisgarh by an official, “The location of the helicopter was traced soon and ‘Cobra Force’ was immediately deployed to help the crew members. Including the pilot, six crew members reached the nearest police station ‘Chintangufa’. The police members of ‘Chintagufa’ had traced the location of the missing chopper.”

However, the officers at the police headquarters here had confirmed that that Mi-17 chopper, which took off from Jagdalpur town to Sukma district to airlift some troopers who were seriously injured in a gunfight with Maoists, went missing after rebels attacked it.

As per Zee 24 Ghante reporters, Chief Minister Raman Singh took the matter seriously and called for an emergency meeting to get the exact details of the incident. While discussing the entire incident with the top police officials, Raman Singh also praised the initiatives taken by the CRPF against the Naxals.

As per another exclusive byte, an official representing the police headquarters gave details of the entire incident and about the move of the operation. He said, “The injured jawan has been hospitalised and is now in a better condition – out of danger.” He also confirmed that the rest of the crew members were safe.

The vigilant reporters of Zee 24 Ghante Chhattisgarh also captured some exclusive footage of the entire incident.

However, the growing audacity of Naxals has really become a matter of worry as this is the second incident in a month when the Maoists have attacked the armed forces to show their growing power. On January 10, Maoists had shockingly planted a bomb inside body of a jawan who was killed in an encounter with Naxals in Jharkhand.

From Zee News

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