Ukraine copters for Nepal

NEW DELHI MARCH 29 . To beef up its capacity to combat Maoists on its soil, Nepal has received a large consignment of transport helicopters from Ukraine.

According to highly placed government sources, these helicopters which will be necessary to ferry troops and para-military forces to remote areas were sent in Ukrainian cargo planes to Nepal.

Nepal is facing a severe shortage of transport helicopters and had stated this when a U.S. military assessment team from the Hawaii-based Pacific Command visited the country recently. The U.S. delegation had decided that it would consider Nepal's request for transport equipment, but would not post military advisers on Nepalese soil. The U.S. and India have been consulting each other on beefing up Nepal's capacity to combat terrorists but their cooperation has not yet reached the level of "coordination.''

With Bhutan, in coordination with India, cracking down on ULFA camps in the country, a large body of this group has taken refuge, either in Bangladesh, or, in eastern Nepal.

There were reports that the Maoists and the ULFA are organising training camps in Nepal.

Apart from this, the ULFA is also said to be acquiring weapons for the Maoists clandestinely. Information received here suggests that part of this may be coming from illegal weapon factories operating in some parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

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