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Was aircraft over M’tivu an RAW spy plane?
Seen flying back across Palk Straits

Mystery surrounds the sighting of an unidentified aircraft over Mullaitivu around 8.30 pm on Tuesday.

It had been spotted coming in from the direction of the Palk Straits and returning whence it came.

"It was at a considerable height. The Navy fired at the aircraft from their boats without success. Both, the Navy and Air Force had noticed the mysterious aircraft with a bright light," Air Force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara told The Island.

Asked whether the aircraft could have landed somewhere in Mullaitivu before flying back, the Wing Commander said that it was not possible given the high altitude and the short time it had taken to fly back.

The Island on January 7 reported that an RAW spy plane had flown over Sri Lanka’s theatre of war in the North.

In that news item, RAW watches northern front from air, our special Indian correspondent Venkat Narayan quoting the Times of India (TI) said that after the Sri Lankan forces captured Kilinochchi, India had sent a team of select officials from the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) on a secret surveillance mission across the Palk Straits.

Quoting unnamed sources, TI said that an aircraft belonging to the Air Research Centre (ARC), a top secret wing of the RAW, had taken off from the Chennai Airport around 3 am on Saturday, January 3.

But the sources TI quoted had refused to confirm whether the mission had been carried out on a request by the Sri Lanka government.

The RAW aircraft is capable of flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet and photographing objects that were only one metre above the ground level.

Military intelligence was unable to confirm whether yesterday’s sighting over Mullaitivu had any connection to the RAW mission on January 3.

The Island reliably learns that the Sri Lankan government has not granted permission for RAW to carry out surveillance missions.

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