In Chhattisgarh, forces fear Maoists are using drones for surveillance
The Centre has told security forces deployed in states affected by Left-wing extremism to shoot at any unidentified aerial objects after a “serious and new” threat of Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region using drones for surveillance, officials said on Sunday.
The latest directive by a unified command of security and intelligence agencies at the Centre comes in the wake of an incident where suspicious objects were seen hovering over a strategically important Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp in Sukma. “Some suspicious objects flashing lights have been seen over a camp in Sukma but nothing concrete was found. We are yet to confirm whether it was drone or anything else,” said inspector general of police Bastar Sunderaj P.
The IG said that they have alerted all security camps about the development and searches are being conducted in nearby areas and all suspicious hideouts for presence of any such objects.
The Chhattisgarh police informed the central government that a small red and white light emitting object, probably a drone, was seen flying near the CRPF camp in Kistaram and Pallodi last month at least four times, according to the state police.
The object emitted a “low whizzing sound” that drew attention of camp guards after which offensive position was taken by troops but the mini-UAVs soon disappeared from the sky above the CRPF camps, a police officer said.
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 Maoist cadres.
Inquiries in this context are ongoing, police officials said.
“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.
The official 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 (or Maoists).”
(With inputs from PTI)