Now Rs.200,000 reward for clues about missing chopper

August 24th, 2008 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Aug 24 (IANS) Chhattisgarh Sunday doubled the cash reward from Rs.100,000 to Rs.200,000 for information about a chopper that went missing Aug 3 en route to Raipur from Hyderabad.”We have just doubled the cash reward amount from Rs.100,000 to Rs.2,00,000 to anyone providing information about the private helicopter that went missing soon after taking off from Hyderabad Aug 3,” Superintendent of Police (Dantewada) Rahul Sharma told reporters.

The Bell-430 Ran Air chopper was scheduled to land at Jagdalpur in Bastar district for refuelling en route to Raipur after it took off from Hyderabad. But the helicopter, which was hired by the Chhattisgarh government, did not land at Jagdalpur. It had four crew on board - pilot V.P. Singh, co-pilot R.S. Gaur, engineer Santosh and technician Ashwani.

After scanning the vast forested area of Bastar region, the police believe the chopper crashed in a thick forested stretch of either Dantewada, Bijapur or in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh - considered a hotbed of Maoist activity. An Indian Air Force chopper and one from Ran Air also flew several times over the region to locate the chopper but without success.

Relatives of the chopper’s crew had Saturday appealed to the Maoists to search for their kin in the vast forested areas they command.

According to official sources, Chhattisgarh has requested the central government to help solve the mystery of the missing chopper.

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