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IAF chief not for using air power against Naxals

Manas Dasgupta

GANDHINAGAR: The chief of the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal P. V. Naik, said on Wednesday that he was not in favour of using air power against Naxalites.

In a brief chat with journalists here, Air Chief Marshal Naik said it was up to the State governments concerned to assess the situation and decide on using air power in the anti-Naxal operations, but “I am not in favour of it.”

He said the Army, the Navy and the Air Force were trained for inflicting maximum lethality. “Our training and weapons are meant for enemies across the border and to inflict maximum lethality on them.”

Pointing out that the Naxalites were the country's citizens, Air Chief Marshal Naik constructed a scenario, if the Air Force was called in. “Let us say the Air Force is called in. and it needs to fire a rocket. A rocket has to be fired from a minimum distance of 1,500-1,800 metres. From that distance, we are not able to visualize what exactly the target is.”

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