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
"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
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.