Ranchi/New Delhi: Bad weather on Tuesday forced the IAF to abort a mission to evacuate three critically injured troopers in anti-naxal operations in Jharkhand and they were later airlifted by a BSF chopper.
The Mi-17 helicopter, which took off from Ranchi at 0620 hours to bring back the injured, had to return to base shortly as it did not have a weather radar to operate in thick cloud conditions.
After the early morning gunfight in the jungles of Chatra district, the CRPF approached the IAF authorities to evacuate its personnel.
With the IAF failing to fly out the injured, the `Dhruv` helicopter of the BSF was pressed into service for the task as the aircraft is equipped with a weather radar.
The encounter had resulted in the injury of CoBRA Deputy Commandant PR Mishra, who is considered one of the finest commandos for undertaking anti-naxal operations in the CRPF.
He has been decorated for gallantry twice.
The security forces also recovered the body of a naxal while they also seized an AK-47, two each .303 and .315 bore rifles, two other rifles and a pistol after the encounter which began at 4 in the morning finished, CRPF sources said.
Apart from Mishra, a CoBRA commando and a local police personnel suffered injuries in the operation and they were later airlifted on the Dhruv to Ranchi.
In Delhi, IAF sources said its pilots have been carrying out such missions in the past also in close cooperation with the BSF and other paramilitary agencies.
Citing such recent missions, they said the IAF Mi-17s from Ranchi had evacuated eight CRPF personnel who were injured in a fierce encounter with Naxals near Gaya between September 10-13.