The decision to this effect was taken during a high-level meeting chaired by Singh on Monday, a senior official from the Home Ministry said. The meeting was attended by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and officials of intelligence and security agencies.

So far, the choppers were used for the purpose of causality evacuation and relief work. But the state has demanded use of air mobility during operations as well in order to facilitate the quick movement of troops.

Singh has also announced increase in the numbers of choppers used during the operations from four to six.  The Home Ministry will soon take up the matter with the Defence Ministry, sources said.

The senior Home Ministry official said that the induction of choppers for movement of troops during live operations would largely help in dismantling the Naxal-network active in the region. According to the sources, a large network of Left-wing extremists is operational in the Bastar region with its top leaders hiding in the dense forests.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister demanded deployment of more central battalions in the country's worst Maoist den.

Presenting the case of security deployment in Jammu & Kashmir vis-a-vis Bastar, the Chief Minister said, “There are 120 Central and state battalions posted in J&K, which is spread across 14,500 sqkm. Despite having violence level higher than J&K, only 48 battalions are working in Bastar's 40,000 square kilometers area.”

According to the sources, the Home Minister has accepted his request and promised 10 additional battalions by the end of 2014 and the rest in the next two years.

The Home Minister expressed concern over the Naxal-menace in the country and said that the anti-Maoist operations are not enough to deal with the situation, saying development in the affected states is equally important.

JPN/Bureau

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