Friday, April 16, 2010

India mulls using UAVs against Maoists

16 Apr 2010, 1335 hrs IST,IANS

RAIPUR: Authorities in Chhattisgarh are keen to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Maoist-dominated pockets in the wake of the massacre of 75 security personnel, official sources said.

"A report of the successful night trial of the US-made UAV in Bastar forests this week is to be sent to the central government with a request to allow security forces to use the UAV facility," a police source in Raipur said.

According to officials, a UAV weighing 10 kg was tested in jungle areas near the Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College in Kanker district, some 150 km south of here.

Kanker and four other districts form the Bastar region, spread over 40,000 sq km. Bastar has been a Maoist stronghold since the late 1980s.

"The trial for UAV was intended to evaluate its efficacy in providing real-time intelligence and detection capability during low illumination and at night in thickly forested stretches," the police source said.

"It is up to the Central government to take a decision on whether security men in the jungle terrain should be equipped with UAV facility."

Seventy-five Central Reserve Police Force personnel and a Chhattisgarh policeman were killed by Maoists in the forests of Dantewada district in Bastar region April 6.

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