Aerial search operations called off, Army, CRPF personnel conducting ground search

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Hyderabad/New Delhi, Sep. 2 (ANI): Aerial search operations for missing Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajshekhar Reddy have been called off, even as 5,000 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Indian Army personnel have been deployed to search for him in the forest ranges of Chitoor and Prakasham Districts.

State Government sources said the CRPF, the Army and Special Forces would conduct their search on foot through the night till the chief minister is traced.

The defence personnel would move along the same route that the chief minister took, notwithstanding the inclement weather.

The Andhra Pradesh Government has separately set up 14 teams, each consisting of eight members (112 personnel), to search for Reddy.

Local villagers have also been provided with torches and other equipment to help in the search of an area that is dominated by Naxals.

The State Government has also asked the Central Government to provide it with an unmanned aircraft and all-weather Fokker aircraft for the search operation in the Nanamalla and Seer Sailam forest ranges, where the chopper is believed to have made an emergency landing due to bad weather.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has denied that the seven seater Bell chopper was not air worthy. It said that the certificate that a private channel accessed appeared on the DGCA web site. The DGCA says the copter is air worthy.

The State Government has also said that it will be giving a fresh update on the situation at 7 p.m. (ANI)

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