In Chhattisgarh’s south Bastar region, drones were seen hovering over a strategically important CRPF camp in the worst Naxal-affected district of Sukma. Naxals have attempted a breach by drones for the first time.


“Serious and New”

Shoot-at-sight orders have been issued to security forces deployed across Left-Wing Extremism (LWE)-affected states.  According to the officials, this was issued for the affected states after a ‘serious and new’ threat of possession and operation of drones by Maoist cadres came to light recently. In the wake of a maiden incident where drones were seen, the latest directive by a unified command of security and intelligence agencies at the Centre came. Drones were seen hovering over a strategically important CRPF camp in the worst Naxal-affected district of Sukma in Chhattisgarh’s south Bastar region.

“Small red and white light-emitting drones” were seen flying as per official communication shared by ground forces. The drones were seen flying last month at least four times in three days, near the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp in Kistaram and Pallodi. Later, the offensive position was taken by troops when the drones emitted a “low whizzing sound” that drew the attention of camp guards. Further, an alert sounded across all the nearby camps anticipating possible trouble by Naxals. However, before they could be aimed and shot, the mini-UAVs soon disappeared.

The security and Intelligence agencies were alerted and led to a vendor in Mumbai. The vendor is suspected to have sold the drones to some unidentified persons, possibly to the Naxals. The sources also added that inquiries in this context are ongoing.

As these drones were spotted deep inside the Naxals hotbed, agencies are concerned about these two camps. Furthermore, they do not even have proper road connectivity and witness regular movements of armed Maoist cadres as the area shares a border with Odisha, Maharashtra and leads to the jungle corridor of Andhra Pradesh.

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