Day 17: no trace of missing copter

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Raipur, Aug 19 (UNI) Chhattisgarh government left no stone unturned to search the private helicopter that went missing since August 3 is still remained untraceable.

The state government is under pressure as the family members of the pilot of missed chopper threatened to self immolate themselves in front of chief minister's residence.

Thousands of policemen and forest department's officials have been tracing copter in dense naxal-affected forests but in vain.

A Rs 1,00,000 reward was announced for the person to provide information about chopper. Lots of information was received so far but all turned to be wrong.

The search of the state government-hired Raina Aviation company's helicopter, which was boarded by four people, including two pilots, yielded no results in the naxalite-affected impenetrable Dantewada forests.

It went missing on a flight from Hyderabad to Raipur on August 3.

The biggest challenge to the state government is to search the copter amidst of the dense forests.

A high-level meeting was called by the Chief Minister Raman Singh to review the chopper's search outcomes last evening.

''The search shall be paced up and terrestrial search besides aerial search shall also be preferred,'' Dr Singh said.

While, kins of copter's crew members alleged that police is not serious in the search.

In a statement released here last evening, police presented a chronicle data about their search pace. Air Force's MI8, Advance Light and Chetak helicopters, Madhya Pradesh government's Ran Air, Deccan, Jindal and Chhattisgarh government's copters are also involving in this endeavour.

''More than 12,000 policemen are searching the copter in 18,000 sq km area,'' claimed Director General of Police Vishwaranjan, adding that Police is quite active in tracing the chopper.

He said that the green colour of helicopter and bad weather created obstacles in the search. Satellite was also used to trace the copter but the result remain cipher.

In July last year, the Chhattisgarh government helicopter ''Maina'' went missing in bad weather on Bhopal-Raipur flight and its wreckage was found few days later in a mountainous area in Balaghat district on Chhattisgarh-MP border. All four occupants were charred to death.

UNI XC-KV 1348

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