A fleet of 10 helicopters will be pressed into service to assist the over 80,000 heavily armed central paramilitary troops as part of an elaborate anti-naxal offensive across the country.

The helicopters will be stationed at different locations like Ranchi in Jharkhand and Raipur in Chhattisgarh.

“The helicopters would be used both for dropping commandos as reinforcements for the operations and casualty evacuation purposes. They will be at the disposal of the Commander of the operations at Raipur (Chhattisgarh),” CRPF Director General A S Gill said.

Three Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters, inducted in the BSF air wing, have been already been stationed at Ranchi and Raipur.

The CRPF has also employed about 80 specialist doctors on a contract basis, who will be part of the anti-naxal operations. The move was taken to bring down troop causalities and ensure immediate medical care.

The CRPF, which is providing the largest number of central security personnel (about 58,000) for anti-naxal operations, has employed on contract specialist doctors in orthopaedics, medicine, surgery and ophthalmology along with general doctors from the states.

“We have brought on contract almost 80 specialist doctors from various streams of medicine from the states where our forces are deployed. These doctors will be stationed with the battalions and would be rushed in for providing medical care for the jawans in operations,” Mr. Gill said.

Acknowledging that there has been a bit of shortage of doctors in the force, Mr. Gill said with these contractual doctors onboard, “we will be able to address the response time during causalities in combat and other health-related issues of the men in the dense jungles and difficult terrain.”

Mr. Gill also said that for achieving the best and precise results during operations the force has brought a “change in tactics” and operational strategies.

The forces are also taking the help of various technical gadgets like GPS devices and satellite imagery for studying the jungles and detecting possible naxal hideouts.

The troops of the combined forces - CRPF, ITBP and BSF - have been placed at various locations in the naxal-affected states and will take up full-fledged operations under a single command soon, though small surgical operations in certain states have already began.