ITANAGAR: The Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), an outlawed underground group, has claimed responsibility for the crash of the Indian Army helicopter in Arunachal Pradesh on October 21.

The RPF, in a statement stated that the cadres of the Manipur Naga People’s Front and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the military wing of the RPF, ‘destroyed’ the Indian Army helicopter in Arunachal Pradesh by using RPG and mortars.

“The route of the Indian made Rudra Advanced Light Helicopter was detected two days ago by our cadres which was jointly ambushed by MNPF and PLA at 10 am as soon as the helicopter reached the target our cadres fired RPGs and mortars and destroyed the war helicopter including the top officers,” a statement from the RPF stated.

The RPF in its statement also demanded the union government to pull back the Indian armed forces from the states of Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir.

The underground militant outfit has also warned that it will carry on to attack the troopers of the Indian armed forces unless they are being pulled back by the government.

This statement from the RPF is now being widely circulated in the social media.

Also read: Arunachal Pradesh helicopter crash: Search underway to trace black box of crashed Army chopper

However, Northeast Now cannot independently verify the authenticity of the statement, purportedly released by the RPF.

Earlier, the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) had also claimed responsibility of the ambush on an Assam Rifles convoy in Manipur that killed five Assam Rifles personnel including Viplav Tripathi, the commanding officer of 46 Assam Rifles, his wife and eight-year-old son.

On October 21, a Rudra advanced light helicopter (ALH) of the Indian Army, with five personnel onboard, including two pilots, had crashed near Migging village in Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.

All the five Indian Army personnel died in the tragic helicopter crash in Arunachal Pradesh.

The crash site has been identified as Singging near the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh.

A technical or mechanical failure is suspected to be the likely cause of the helicopter crash.

Also read: Arunachal: Indian Army develops smarter posts along China border to improve troops’ living conditions

Prior to the crash, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) had received a ‘May Day’ call suggesting a technical or mechanical failure.

“This (technical failure) will form the focus of the court of inquiry, which has been immediately constituted to investigate the causes of the accident,” a defence statement said.

The five Indian Army personnel to have been killed in the helicopter crash in Arunachal Pradesh are: Major Mustafa Bohara (27), Major Vikas Bhambu (27), Sepoy Rohitash Kumar (33) and Craftsman (Engine Technician) KV Ashwin and Havildar Brijesh Sinha from Assam.

Major Mustafa Bohara and Major Vikas Bhambu were the pilots of the helicopter.

“It is reported that the weather was good for flying operations. The pilots had more than 600 combined flying hours on ALH-WSI and over 1,800 service flying hours between them. The aircraft was inducted into service in June 2015,” the statement stated.

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