National Security Advisor (NSA) MK Narayanan on Wednesday ruled out a Maoist strike on the helicopter carrying Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, saying they did not have the capability to do so.
"Naxals (Maoists) don't have the capacity to bring down a chopper," he told the CNN-IBN TV news channel in an interview.
Speaking about the operations to locate the helicopter, which went missing at 9.35 am soon after taking off from Hyderabad, Narayanan said: "We have put all our resources in place and are hoping for the best."
"ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) has sent a low flying aircraft which got some photographs. The most worrying aspect of the whole situation is the loss of radar (contact with the helicopter) for such a long time," Narayanan said.
"We are keeping our fingers crossed that there would be a miraculous escape (for YSR)," he said, adding: "It's going to be a tough night and I hope our faith in god will bring him back."