Odisha Asks For Drone

Odisha has asked for a Drone like an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for the State to detect Maoist Hideouts in dense forests and hilly terrains and monitor the movement of the Ultras to help ground forces carry out precision attacks.

State Government in Department of Home has approached Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to sanction a UAV exclusively for Odisha for supplementing Anti-Maoist Operations.
A Dedicated UAV for Odisha will be much more helpful for the State Police, which is engaged in Anti-Maoist Operations in 15 Left Wing Extremists (LWE) Affected Districts.
Now the State Police is availing UAV Support from the CAPFs as and when required as UAV is useful in forests and hills as most of the Maoist bases are located there only.
The UAVs, with in-built camera, well-equipped data link and video link, will gather and record information, which is  to be shared with State Police and Central Security Forces engaged in Anti-Maoist Operations in the State.
The UAVs, developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is being utilized by the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF)s in Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
The UAVs also provide flexible surveillance and reconnaissance capability with external payload, including weapons capability.
Since the Maoists are keep changing their movements, deployment of UAVs will certainly an advantage for security forces, the official said.
Each of the UAV will cost a minimum of Rs 18 lakh and there are more costly High Tech Devices for use.
However the State Police has made enough provisions to purchase an UAV under Special Infrastructure Scheme (SIS) under Police Modernization during 2018-19.
Last Fiscal the State Police made provisions for purchase of a Drone, however MHA approval was awaited and it is yet to be received, sources said.
MHA approval is needed in this regard and once it is received, State Police will go for a Dedicated UAV, said sources.
The UAVs produced by HAL is technologically advanced as the Central PSU has joined hands with a technologically advanced organization for production of Drones.
State Government has been continuously focusing on up-gradation of Anti-Maoist Operational Capabilities of the Security Forces under State Action Plan for Modernization of Police Forces.
In the meantime, the State Government has raised Four Special Security Battalions to supplement Anti-Maoist Efforts of the State Police and at least 74 Platoons of SS Battalion are deployed in Red Corridors.
Deployment of more Forces and organized Anti-Maoist Operations has resulted in declining trend of Maoist Violence, which continued in 2017 and 2018.
During 2010 at least 129 Violent Incidents occurred, which has gone down to 52 in 2017 and till 30 June it were 34.
Deaths have also gone down from 73 during 2010 to 26 in 2017 and in June 2018, it was 08, said sources.

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