IAF presses two Mi17 copters for anti-naxal operation in Maharashtra

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Mumbai, Oct 9 (ANI): The Indian Air Force (IAF) has pressed two Mi17 copters for the joint operations being carried out by the Maharashtra and the Chattisgarh police to nab naxals responsible for Thursday's massacre.

With just four days left for the Maharashtra state polls, massive combing operations continued in Gadchiroli District situated in the southeastern corner of Maharashtra, bordering Chhatisgarh to the east, and Andhra Pradesh to the south and southwest.

On Thursday afternoon, nearly 200 Naxals ambushed a police outpost near Lahir village of Bhamragadh tehsil in Gadchiroli District brutally killing between 17 to 20 policemen, including a sub inspector.

All the dead policemen belonged to the C-60 anti-Naxal force raised by Maharashtra.

However, these Mi17 choppers have been called upon not for combat use, but to enhance the search and rescue operations. However, sources added that the choppers have the option to retaliate if fired at them.

The Gadchiroli district administration opined that choppers would be of great assistance to deal with ongoing violence in the region.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Government has decided to give Rs.50 lakh compensation to the next of kin of slain police personnel.

State Home Minister Jayant Patil and Director General of Police S. S. Virk along with other officials are slated to visit Gadchiroli on Friday to pay homage to the martyrs as well as review the security arrangements. (ANI)

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