Monday, January 21, 2013

Probe into why helicopter wasn’t given cover

The Chhattisgarh police have launched an internal probe after it was found that the helipad adjacent to the Temlewada police camp was not sanitized for helicopter landing.

The Maoists had opened fire on the IAF Mi-17 helicopter when it attempted to land there on Friday. After being fired upon at least 14 times, the pilot landed the chopper three km away in the nearby dense jungle. A police constable in the chopper was injured in the attack.

The six IAF personnel on board the chopper walked back to the nearby Chinta Gufa camp of the CRPF. Officials said that the Maoists used SLRs and .12 bore rifles to attack the chopper.

“We have started an internal inquiry to ascertain why the helipad was not sanitized. The helicopter came under attack when it was hovering above the helipad adjacent to the police camp. The Maoists had taken refuge in the nearby villages,” said R K Vij, ADGP.

A joint team of senior police officials and CRPF had visited the site on Sunday evening. After the attack, the IAF personnel had told the CRPF that they were not given adequate security cover.

“Earlier too there have been attempts to attack the chopper. This time it was on a way to airlift injured policemen who had been attacked in an encounter earlier in the day. There was not enough security on the ground even though hundred policemen were present in the adjacent camp,” said a senior officer in Chhattisgarh.

Officials said the technical team of the IAF, which was repairing the helicopter, would take at least two more days to make it flight ready.

“We have deployed enough security personnel to guard the helicopter. The police and the CRPF commandos are being put on rotational duty,” said the officer.


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