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Updated: September 3, 2009 02:33 IST

NSA rules out Naxal strike on YSR’s chopper

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M.K. Narayanan
M.K. Narayanan

National Security Advisor M K Narayanan on Wednesday ruled out the possibility of Naxals bringing down the helicopter of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy that went missing in the State, saying the ultras did not have such a capability.

He said it was quite possible that a technical snag or a pilot error could have led to the chopper going missing.

“Naxal strike seems extremely improbable. I would almost entirely rule it out. I do not think the Naxalites have the capability to bring down the helicopter,” Mr. Narayanan said here.

Mr. Narayanan said the government was determined to continue the search for the helicopter or its wreckage and the Chief Minister, his secretary and personal security officer.

“The search will continue till we get hold of the helicopter or its wreckage and the persons on board the helicopter. We will search tonight and tomorrow morning. I don’t think there is any question of calling off the search,” he told CNN—IBN.

He said the Centre, apart from the State, had done the utmost to find the helicopter by pressing into service IAF helicopters and aircraft with radars for ground mapping the region.

“The situation does not seem to be good. We have done helicopter search in several areas such as the Northeast where communication has been far less adequate,” Mr. Narayanan said.

He said the government also planned to have satellite images of the region obtained from ISRO once Indian satellites come over the region tomorrow.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed that there would be miraculous escape (for the Reddy and his personnel) in this case,” he added.

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