Centre, UT’s major focus on border areas to check drone activities, intrusions, narcotics

Representational Image

Use of Social Media also under strict surveillance

Movement of suspicious persons on radar

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Sept 30: All security and Intelligence agencies have been keeping special focus all along the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan in view of anticipated surge in drone activities and infiltration attempts by the militants along both Line of Control (LoC) as well as International Border (IB).
Earlier, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had also sounded about “undesirable activities” along the border areas and called upon all Governments which share boundaries with neighbours especially Pakistan to maintain high alert at all such places.
Official sources told the Excelsior that there have been “very credible and specific inputs” with security and Intelligence agencies about drone activities and infiltration attempts in the border areas and, in this context, the Union Home Ministry has also called for very high alertness especially ahead of the festival season.
“The threat was more about smuggling of sticky bombs from across the border using drones and Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of the militants,” the officials said, adding though movement of drones has been observed earlier also along the International Border but the threat perception has increased because of the festival season and in the aftermath of ban on Popular Front of India (PFI) for five years by the Union Home Ministry.
Arms and explosives smuggled from the borders here could be used in other States in retaliation to ban on the PFI but security, Intelligence agencies and police personnel are maintaining very high alert to thwart the designs of militants, their mentors and other anti-national elements.
Police and Intelligence agencies are also maintaining close surveillance on use of Social Media in the border areas amid reports that it could be misused to convey certain secret locations by the youngsters either in lieu of money or by falling in honey traps which has been observed.
They are also looking for movement of suspicious persons in the border villages. Local people have been asked to do so.
However, during the past quite some time, there has been no successful infiltration attempt or drone activity along the borders though such bids are continuously being made from across the International Border as well as Line of Control.
“Security forces have been maintaining very high alert,” they said.
Along with arms and explosives, security agencies are also keeping strict vigil on smuggling of narcotics as funds generated from its sale are being used in terror-funding in certain cases, the officials said.
Though there has been no major ceasefire violation along the LoC as well as IB in Jammu region after February 2021 fresh ceasefire agreement between Indo-Pak troops, the militants continued to make infiltration attempts on the LoC, majority of which have been foiled by the Army.
Drone activity for pushing arms and explosives, cash and narcotics are mostly confined to the International Border in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts but the BSF has also thwarted majority of such bids. However, there have been some successful drone activities along the International Border and weapons, cash etc dropped from these drones had reached in the hands of militants or their OGWs.
Some of these consignments were later seized by police.
As per the officials, focus of the militants was more on sticky bombs as they have become easy to plant as was witnessed in two back-to-back blasts in Udhampur on September 28 night and September 29 morning.
“It has become quite easy for the Over Ground Workers to just plant the sticky bombs at any place in the vehicle and escape,” they said, adding that smuggling of sticky bombs was required to be stopped at the border itself or, otherwise, they will become major weapon in the hands of militants in the days to come.