An Indian Air Force helicopter had to make an emergency landing during a rescue operation in Chhattisgarh after Naxals opened firing at it. The incident took place around 500 kilometres from capital Raipur on Friday 18 January evening near Chintalnar in Sukama district of south Chhattisgarh. Additional Directorate General of Police, Naxal Operations, Mukesh Gupta confirmed the incident. One of the crew members was also injured in the firing.
The MI 17 helicopter was sent to Pusbaka from Jagdalpur to evacuate injured jawans after a gun battle ensued between the jawans and Naxals. When the chopper reached near Timelwada jungles, Naxals opened firing at it. Due to the firing, the chopper had to make an emergency landing in the jungle and it remained untraceable for about two hours, sources said.
Later, COBRA jawans reached the spot and rescued the helicopter as well as the crew members. The injured crew member – a wireless operator – was taken to Chintalnar camp and the chopper reached its base camp in Jagdalpur.
Naxals had earlier attacked a CAF troop near the Pusbaka camp on Dornapal-Jagargunda Road in which a jawan lost his life. Following the attack, a MI 17 helicopter was sent to rescue the jawans during which Naxals opened fire at the chopper.
The state home department has announced a reward of rupees five lakh for the COBRA team for rescuing the chopper.