Andhra To Use Drones To Fight Naxalites


Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Police will not “blindly” support corporates facing opposition from local communities in setting up of thermal power and other industrial projects in the coastal region, state police chief Dinesh Reddy said.

He told a news conference here that police would step in only after the issues like relief and rehabilitation, livelihood of fishermen and other displaced local communities, and the environmental concerns are addressed by the civil administration and the corporates.

Keen to dispel the impression that police is another wing of the government, the director general of police said: “We have asked police not to blindly support the corporate world.” 

His comments are significant in view of the ongoing protests by fishermen, farmers, tribals and other local communities against the upcoming thermal power, nuclear, bauxite mining and other projects in coastal Andhra, especially in the north coastal districts.

The police chief admitted that they could have avoided Sompeta and Kakrapalli incidents. He was referring to the police firing on protesters opposing thermal projects at two places in Srikakulam district. Four people were killed in the two incidents.

Dinesh Reddy said the police would lay special emphasis on the coastal security in view of the huge economic interests along the 1,000-km long coastline.

The police proposed to use Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), deployed to track down Maoists in north coastal Andhra bordering Orissa, to check infiltration of terrorists and other extremist groups through the coast.

The UAV deployed at the Madhurawada airport near coastal town of Rajahmundry will send images at the speed of light to the nearest base, helping the marine police to track down the infiltrators.

The police will also use Russian made MI-17 helicopter to carry the police personnel after the UAV sent images are analysed and pinpoint the position of the extremists.

”We have also sought permission to procure a chopper which will be stationed at the Visakhapatnam naval base,” he said.

Police have also decided to set up 15 more marine police stations along its coast and recruit young men from fishermen families as special officers.

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