IAF evacuates injured passengers from Maoist-hit Chhattisgarh

New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) The Indian Air Force on Tuesday said it evacuated seven passengers, including two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, injured in a bus accident in Maoist-affected Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh.

The bus, carrying 19 CRPF personnel, met with the accident on Monday evening near Mardapal in Bijapur, claiming three lives and a critically injuring some others.

“A request was made to the Task Force Commander of IAF’s Anti Naxal Task Force (ANTF) to evacuate a CRPF jawan at night from Bijapur helipad. One Mi-17V5 helicopter of the task force at Jagdalpur was immediately tasked to get airborne for this emergent casualty evacuation mission,” a Defence Ministry statement said.

“In view of reports of a casualties, two helicopter were rushed to the spot. The IAF pilots carried out a landing at the helipad in darkness and the two helicopters evacuated seven critically injured passengers, including two CRPF personnel,” the statement said.

It further said that such missions served as tremendous morale booster for the troops, knowing that the IAF would be ever ready and ever willing to come to their aid.

“Since its inception as a small task force in 2009, ANTF has carried out about 20,000 sorties flying 15,000 hours, lifting total 1,900 tonnes of load and 86,000 troops and passengers. The task force has also recovered more than 1,050 casualties,” it added.