In January 2013, an Air Force helicopter on a rescue mission in Bastar was forced to make an emergency landing in densely-forested Sukma district after it came under fire from Maoists
A rare video of Maoists showing the rebels conducting 'commando-style' training to gun down Air Force helicopters has been recovered, claims the police in Bastar, which is a huge stronghold of Naxals in the state of Chhattisgarh.
The video of a training camp apparently in the forests of Sukma in south Bastar, which adjoins Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, shows guerrilla cadres practicing with LMGs (light machine guns) to bring down helicopters used to transport security personnel.
The video, believed to be shot recently, shows a dummy of a flying machine, prepared with raw wood, plastic sheets and branches of trees, suspended on a rope tied to trees from two sides.
In the footage, some people are seen swinging off the 'dummy' from one side to another in a descending pattern, imitating how air force helicopters and para-military troops.
Armed cadres positioned on the ground are seen firing at the target.
Machine guns mounted on tripods made of tree branches were also being used in the training according to the video, said the police.
In January 2013, an Air Force helicopter on a rescue mission in Bastar to airlift an injured jawan and the body of another was forced to make an emergency landing at a field in the densely-forested Sukma district after it came under fire from Maoists.
"Documents detailing Naxals' nefarious strategies to target choppers have been seized a number of the times from various places of Bastar, but for the first time it has come to our knowledge that they have made its clippings. Now it's clear that the Naxals are conducting such trainings," said R K Vij, Additional Director General of Police (anti-Naxal operations) to the Press Trust of India.
"Security will be beefed up around helipads in the dense forests and all necessary precautionary measures will be taken to ensure that Maoists do not get a chance to target choppers," he said.