A BSF helicopter on Wednesday was fired at by Maoists in the jungles of south Bastar in Chhattisgarh, say officials. The helicopter was used for lifting commandos conducting anti-Maoists operations.
The Mi-17 helicopter suffered bullet shots in the cockpit area but landed safely with the last passenger load of ‘Greyhound’ commandos in Andhra Pradesh’s Bhadrachalam in Khammam district, senior officials involved in the operation said.
The helicopter was pressed for troop evacuation after the commando squad conducted an anti-Maoist operation in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on Tuesday where ten Maoists were killed.
The incident of opening fire at the chopper took place in Puwarti village under Jagargunda police station area of the district in south Bastar during the evening hours.
During the firing, ten commandos of Andhra Pradesh police force were evacuated, they said.
Security forces had also thrown a ring around the helipad but still the Maoists attempt to hit the chopper succeeded, they said, adding that a squad of CRPF personnel fanned in the nearby areas to look for Maoists cadres.
Two IAF Mi-17 choppers were also part of the same operation on Wednesday but they were safe during their entire sortie where they transported 30 Greyhounds personnel from Chhattisgarh to Andhra Pradesh.
This is the second incident of Naxalites firing on security forces’ helicopters after an IAF chopper was hit in January in the same district.
A joint squad of Andhra Pradesh’s Greyhounds, CRPF and State police had conducted an operation in the area on Tuesday.
(With inputs from agencies)