Naxals urged to provide info about crew members of missing copter

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Raipur, Aug 20 (UNI) In the wake of police's failure to locate the missing Bell-430 helicopter, family members of two pilots have appealed to naxals to provide information about its crew.

The helicopter took off from Hyderabad at 1500 hrs on August 3 for Raipur but went missing. Pilot B P Singh, co-pilot Captain R K Gaur, engineer Santosh Singh and technician Ashwin Kumar were on board the missing helicopter.

Pilot B P Singh's son A P Singh and co-pilot Captain R K Gaur's brother Narendra Gaur alleged that police did not venture into the forest to trace the chopper due to fear of ultras.

Both claimed that police returned from the forests, stating that it was slippery ahead or villagers and voluntary organisations had gone on the same route.

Police was waiting for villagers to bring some information and then act on its basis.

Mr Singh termed ''false'' police claims that 12,000 jawans were searching the missing copter. He said only about 1,000 jawans had been deployed for the purpose.

They said police had carried out a search only in Gangalur, Berchhapal, Jagargunda, Bijapur and Bechli although mountainous terrain in Bailadila Kirundal and Venkatachal should have also been searched.

They claimed that they had only requisitioned IAF helicopter and a private helicopter to search the missing Bell-430.

Family members of other crew members also came to Dantewara but had to return to New Delhi without any hope.

UNI XC-PS RR RAI2007

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