Bhopal: Indian Air Force (IAF) transport aircraft IL-76 landed at Swami Vivekanand airport in Raipur in Chhattisgarh on Wednesday amidst reported massive preparations by security forces to launch a major offensive against Naxals in conflict zone of Bastar in that state.
The development has triggered speculations of a large scale anti-Maoist offensive being planned by security forces in Bastar in the wake of April 24 Naxal ambush on a CRPF party at Burkapal in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district that killed 25 jawans. But, IAF authorities described the transport aircraft landing in Raipur airport as a “routine one”.
“The aircraft carried some technical and store equipment needed for Nandini Airstrip in Bhilai, (nearly 25 km from Chhattisgarh capital of Raipur), which operates an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for reconnaissance mission,” Air Commodore Ajey Shukla, Task Force commander said.
IAF sources said in the past also IAF transport carriers and other aircrafts landed in Raipur airport to deliver spare parts of IAF choppers deployed in the state....