Other States

Drones scan CRPF camp in Naxal hub

CRPF security personnel patrol in Sukma area of Chhattisgarh. File

CRPF security personnel patrol in Sukma area of Chhattisgarh. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

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Centre issues shoot-at-sight orders across States.

Shoot-at-sight orders have been issued to security forces across States affected by left-wing extremism after drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were seen hovering over a strategically important Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp in the worst Naxal-violence affected district of Sukma in Chhattisgarh’s south Bastar region.

The directive was issued by security and intelligence agencies at the Centre.

As per communication shared by ground forces, “small red and white light emitting drones” were seen flying near the CRPF camp in Kistaram and Pallodi last month at least four times in three days.

The drones emitted a “low whizzing sound” that drew attention of the guards, after which an alert was sounded across nearby camps, said sources. However, the mini-UAVs soon disappeared from the sky even before they could be aimed at and shot.

The development rang alarm bells in the security establishment leading intelligence agencies to a vendor in Mumbai who is suspected to have sold the drones to some unidentified persons, possibly Naxal cadres.

Inquiries in this context are ongoing, sources added.

Agencies are particularly concerned as the two camps where these drones were spotted are located deep inside the Naxal hotbed, do not have proper road connectivity and witness regular movements of armed Maoist cadres as the area shares border with Odisha, Maharashtra and leads to the jungle corridor of Andhra Pradesh.

“This development is a serious concern. Possession and operation of drones by Maoists is a new challenge which has been anticipated by security agencies for long. The issue has now surfaced,” a top-ranking security official official privy to the development said.

He said “shoot-at-sight orders have been issued to security forces all across the LWE affected states to take down such rogue drones or UAVs being operated by Naxals.”

A preliminary analysis of the incident estimates that the drones that were spotted were basic variants of a four-legged UAV that is controlled from the ground using a remote control and is used in capturing videos and photos of social events like wedding and public gatherings.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 10:33:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/drones-scan-crpf-camp-in-naxal-hub/article30000599.ece

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