No helicopter in offensive against Naxals: Chidambaram

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 16:03

Srinagar: Even as the government prepares for
a major offensive against the Naxals, Home Minister P
Chidambaram on Wednesday made it clear that helicopters will not be
used for operations against the Maoists.

"The helicopters will be primarily used for evacuation and
transportation of security forces. They will not be used for
any offensive action," he told reporters here.

Asked about Defence Minister A K Antony`s statement that
Indian Air Force helicopters would be given permission to open
fire in self-defence, Chidambaram said he did not see any
contradiction of policies between the Home and the Defence
Ministries.

"If the Defence Minister has said that the IAF will fire
in self defence, then that is the policy," he said.

Last week, Antony had said that the IAF would be given
permission to open fire in self-defence during anti-Naxal
operations after carefully preparing procedures and
safeguards.

The Defence Minister had, however, said there was no
proposal to engage the IAF in a combat role in the operations.

The Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) on Thursday had
approved the Government`s new plan to counter Maoists under
which the affected states will have an effective coordinated
mechanism with police taking a lead role.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 16:03

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