Thursday, June 07, 2007

Centre clears move for using choppers in anti-Naxal operations

Centre clears move for using choppers in anti-Naxal operations
New Delhi, June 06: The Centre on Wednesday gave its nod to the Chhattisgarh government's demand to hire helicopters from Pawan Hans for the next six months to help speedily transport security forces engaged in operations against Naxalites.

The Home Ministry cleared the demand so that the movement of security personnel during any operation is not hampered due to the Maoist tactic of mining roads used by the troops, official sources said.

The helicopters can also be used to evacuate casualties and to ferry supplies to security personnel operating deep within jungles of the state, they said.

For optimum use, Chhattisgarh will share the helicopters with Andhra Pradesh and Maharastra. The expenditure on the aircraft will be reimbursed from funds provided under the Security-Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme, a spokesman said.

Under SRE, a scheme implemented in states hit by Naxalite violence in 1996, the Centre supplements the efforts of the states to deal with the Maoist problem effectively.

The scheme was comprehensively revised in February 2005, increasing the rate of reimbursement from 50 per cent to 100 per cent and covering more districts and more items of reimbursement. The revision also permits the advance release of funds to states.

A total of 76 districts in nine states -- Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal -- are covered by the scheme and the ministry reimburses all expenditure incurred on security-related issues, including logistics and camp facilities for paramilitary forces.

Bureau Report

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