IAF seeks permission to fire at Naxalites

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IAF
New Delhi, Oct 1: Amid the government's increased efforts to eradicate terror elements on its soil like Maoists and Naxalites, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has sought the permission of the defence ministry to fire at the extremists when its crew comes under attack or while undertaking rescue operations in the naxal-infested areas.

"The IAF has sought permission from the Defence Ministry to open fire in self-defence whenever our helicopters or air crew operating in the Maoist-infested areas come under attack," Air Chief Marshal P V Naik told the media, on Thursday, Oct 1.

Admitting that the air force was waiting for the approval from the defence ministry to fire back in areas dominated by Naxals, Naik added, "the Air Force, of course, has a greater role to play in the offensive against Naxals, be it higher reconnaissance or surveillance, troop movement and also for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) recce."

This comes after the Indian air force crew of the Mi-17 helicopter was targeted by Naxals on in Apr 2008 in Gadchiroli District which lies on the Chhattisgarh-Maharashtra border.

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