‘IAF capable of offensive anti-Naxal ops’
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Last Updated: Monday, October 04, 2010, 21:08
  
New Delhi: IAF chief Air Chief Marshal PV Naik Monday said the Air Force had the capability for an offensive operation against the Naxals but a decision on it was in the government's hands.

"Use of IAF in an offensive role, I won't comment... Possibilities are endless. It is a government decision, whatever they decide. Capabilities are there, whether to use them or not is a government decision," he told reporters here.

He was asked if the IAF was reluctant to use its assets in an offensive role in the anti-Naxal operations being carried out by the paramilitary forces.

On the IAF's present role in the operations, Naik said they were carrying out casualty evacuation, insertion and exertion of troops and medical evacuation of the troops.

Noting that there was a lot of coordination between the Defence and the Home Ministries in this regard, he said four IAF helicopters were currently operating in the Naxal-infested areas and were deployed in Chhattisgarh.

He said a similar role was being played by the force in the counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

About a year ago, the IAF had sought government's permission to fire back at Naxals in self defence, which had been granted to them following which IAF commandos flew on the choppers fitted with mounted guns.

The demand had come after one of its personnel was killed and another injured when an Mi-17 chopper carrying election officials during Chhattisgarh state assembly polls came under Naxal fire.

PTI


First Published: Monday, October 04, 2010, 21:08


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