Video clip showing Naxals training to gun down choppers 'probably fake'

Intelligence agencies have described as 'probably fake' a video footage that purportedly shows Naxals conducting a ‘commando-style’ training to gun down helicopters, used to ferry security personnel and VIPs in Chhattisgarh’s worst insurgency-hit Bastar region.

New Delhi: Intelligence agencies have described as 'probably fake' a video footage that purportedly shows Naxals conducting a ‘commando-style’ training to gun down helicopters, used to ferry security personnel and VIPs in Chhattisgarh’s worst insurgency-hit Bastar region.

The video, which was recovered by police, shows 15-20 guerrilla cadres of the outlawed CPI(Maoist) at a training camp, apparently in forests of Sukma — in south Bastar adjoining Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, doing practice to bring down a chopper by using its ‘dummy’ with LMGs (light machine guns) and small weapons.

“Documents detailing Naxals’ nefarious strategies to target choppers have been seized a number of the times from various places of Bastar, but for the first time it has come to our knowledge that they have made its clippings. Now it’s clear that the Naxals are conducting such trainings,” state Additional Director-General of Police (anti-Naxal operations) RK Vij had said.

However, intelligence agencies say the video clip may be fake and stage-managed to boost the morale of their cadres.

The video clip, believed to be shot recently, shows a dummy of a flying machine, prepared with raw wood, plastic sheets and branches of trees, suspended on a rope tied to trees from two sides.

In the footage, few cadres are seen swinging off the ’dummy’ from one side to another in a descending pattern, quite like a helicopter lands from some specific height at the helipad, while the armed cadres positioned on the ground are seen firing at its bottom.

The video also shows Maoists training in different techniques to engage helicopters with small weapons along with some sophisticated weapons positioned at strategic points.

Machine guns mounted on tripods made of tree branches were also being used in the training, as per the footage.

(With PTI inputs)

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