MoD may take IAF plea to fire at Maoists to CCS
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Last Updated: Tuesday, October 06, 2009, 19:17
  
New Delhi: The Defence Ministry may wash its hands off the IAF's request for opening fire at Maoists in self-defence by asking the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to take a call.

"The proposal could be taken up at a higher level such as the CCS and a note may be prepared if it is decided to take the matter to a higher authority," Defence Ministry sources said here today.

Giving reasons for putting the onus on the CCS, the sources said the Defence Ministry's stated position was that the armed forces could not take offensive action against the Maoists, as the latter were Indian citizens.

"The IAF proposal is still at a discussion state and will be decided upon the basis of the stated policy," they said.

"What constitutes 'self-defence' needs to be defined clearly, so as to ensure that this clause is not misused to open fire. The consequences have to be weighed," the sources explained.

Stating that the Defence Ministry needed to discuss threadbare the long-term pros and cons of allowing the IAF to go on the offensive against Maoists, the sources said the discussion had already started in the ministry.

Citing the attack on an IAF chopper during Chhattisgarh Assembly elections last year when a flight engineer was killed, Air Force chief P V Naik had last week said the Ministry's permission had been sought to open fire at Maoists in self-defence.

Bureau Report


First Published: Tuesday, October 06, 2009, 19:17


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