Raipur, June 23
Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed here in Central India, for ensuring logistic to paramilitary forces and the state police engaged in anti-naxal operation, is ready to take more responsibilities if entrusted, said Task Force Commander (TFC) of Anti-Naxal Task Force (ANTF), IAF Air Commodore Ajay Shukla.
Interacting with media in Raipur on Friday, the officer said that IAF with base at Raipur, Jagdalpur and Ranchi is only engaged in ensuring logistic support, induction/de-induction of troopers and eviction of security personnel injured in naxal incidents. IAF has pressed MI17V-5 (in Raipur and Jagdalpur) whereas MI17 (in Ranchi) into the task.
“Although, IAF here is not is role of offensive action, but when our choppers comes under naxal fire, we are allowed to take retaliatory action in self-defense because at that moment of time, safety of helicopter and onboard personnel are primary objective,” explained Air Commodore Ajay Shukla, elaborating that IAF here is ready to take more responsibilities if entrusted.
On being asked about a video clipping (in which insurgents were practicing to gun down chopper) recovered by security personnel, the officer said that “we are aware about such training of naxals and that video. Besides, taking every measure to keep choppers and personnel safe, the force will act according to the situation.”
The officer further informed that IAF recently carried out several critical operations and going to continue the same in future as well. The force undertaking night operations and pilots flying with the help of night vision glasses have managed to evacuate and safely rushed troopers injured in encounter and other naxal incidents to hospitals.
Chhattisgarh government and the state police are providing every possible assistances to IAF, said Air Commodore Shukla.
Speaking about extension plan, Air Commodore Shukla informed that IAF will be establishing Air Force station in Mana area of the state capital and the state administration has given in-principle approval to the project. The project is underway.
Raipur, June 23