A year after Dantewada UAVs prove a dud for forces
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Last Updated: Wednesday, April 06, 2011, 19:08
Raipur: The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which were roped in by security forces to snoop on Naxals in the aftermath of the Dantewada ambush which left 76 policemen dead a year ago have proved to be a dud, unable to track down the extremists who hide in the thick jungles.

Various security agencies have been trying different variants of UAVs over naxal affected areas, dotted by thick foliage, to track the movement of the ultras but have failed to get the desired intelligence.

"After the April six ambush in Chhattisgarh last year, where 75 CRPF personnel and a state policeman were killed, various security agencies flew variants of UAVs at Kanker and some other places in the state. But they (UAVs) have proved to be a dud till now," a senior official involved in the exercise said.

The UAVs were expected to provide the security forces with images and signals on movement of naxals and a good knowledge of the terrain depicting water bodies and populated areas but have not been able to penetrate the forest cover.

With intelligence gathering being a difficult job in naxal affected areas, the aim to fly UAVs was to obtain help in gathering advanced reconnaissance and situational awareness functions, which are critical for use by security personnel while planning their operations.

However, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which is the main central paramilitary with almost 65 battalions (65000 personnel) deployed in anti-naxal operations, has now begun to use satellite imagery of these areas at certain filed locations and at the operations control room at its headquarters in Delhi, the official said.

Sources said that the central security agencies are also taking help from army experts in the UAV methodology. The Centre has deployed ITBP and BSF apart from the CRPF for anti-naxal operations in thee affected states along with the state police forces and other special units.


First Published: Wednesday, April 06, 2011, 19:08

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