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India to deploy UAVs in anti-naxal fight

The MQ-1 Predator. US Air Force photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): Government plans to deploy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in the fight against Naxals for reconnaissance and their trials will take place next week.

Sources said the services of UAVs are urgently required as the forces engaged in anti-naxal operations needed real-time information to achieve more success.

The UAVs, imported from abroad, have the capacity to fly 5,000 feet above the ground and can instantly provide information to the ground force for immediate action.

The sources said the government may also request the Indian Air Force, if required, to provide a few more helicopters for rescue, relief and surveillance.

Four helicopters of BSF are currently deployed for the task in Naxal-affected areas.

Sources said the government also plans to split the mandate of CRPF into two parts--one exclusively for counter-insurgency operations and another for law and order duties--for their better utilisation.

Sources said the initial reports coming from Dantewada indicated that there was basic violation of Standard Operating Procedure, which resulted to such a high casualty.

Security agencies are now formulating new strategy to counter the Maoists menace, particularly in Chhattisgarh following the incident.

Government is also stressing on more rigorous training of paramilitary forces on jungle-warfare before being deployed.

"We are availing the training facilities of Army and may send more and more paramilitary forces to such institutes for better training," an official said.

Sources said a time-bound inquiry has been ordered to find out the lapses in the Tuesday incident in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh where 76 security personnel were killed by the Maoists.

The one-man inquiry committee will be headed by a retired DGP level officer, whose name will be announced soon.

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