MHA to fund entire project, multiple agencies on job
JAMMU, Dec 6: In a significant decision to curb smuggling of arms and narcotics from Pakistan through drones along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Punjab, the BSF, NSG and DRDO with the assistance of certain foreign companies and Start Ups in the country are in the process of developing anti-drone technology which will be installed along the borders amid reports that drone activities have been reported from Amritsar, Abohar Fazilka, Hiranagar and Akhnoor sectors.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be funding entire multi-crore project for developing anti-drone technology for installation along the International Border with instructions that it should be developed at the earliest to completely plug drone activities which have the potential to give boost to militancy and narco-terror activities,” official sources told the Excelsior.
They said initially the anti-drone technology will be installed along the International Border in Jammu sector which shares almost 198 kilometers long boundary with Pakistan spread over three districts of Jammu, Samba and Kathua and Punjab which has 553 kilometers long IB with Pakistan comprising Gurdaspur, Taran Taran, Amritsar and Ferozepur districts. However, gradually it will cover Rajasthan border and Rann of Kutch in Gujarat even though there has been no drone activities in these States presently.
As far as the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, sources pointed out, the Army has installed certain equipments to check movement of drones.
Asserting that it is not possible for security forces to physically keep watch on every drone movement along the borders as there are many gaps in the form of Nullahs, mountains, forest cover etc, sources said the installation of anti-drone technology which will spot drones and bring them down will be the ultimate solution to curb rising smuggling of arms, ammunition and explosives and narcotics from Pakistan using flying machines.
“As far as the International Borders are concerned, the BSF, NSG and DRDO have tied-up to develop anti-drone technology,” sources said, adding they have been taking assistance from certain foreign companies as well as Start Ups from India and there has been very encouraging results.
They said the way the work is going on, the installation of anti-drone technology along the International Borders is not far but it will be initially installed on trial basis in certain areas.
“Only after the trials are successful, the technology will be installed in rest of the areas,” they added. As per the sources, it could be multi-crore project going by the long International Border (nearly 750 kilometers) in Jammu and Punjab. However, as per the sources, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to fund entire project of developing anti-drone technology along the International Border.
Pointing out that the International Border as well as the Line of Control are peaceful in Jammu and Kashmir after fresh ceasefire agreement between Indo-Pak troops on February 26 this year, sources, however, said that though there has been no major ceasefire violations, the infiltration attempts do take place sometimes but the drone activities remained a major challenge.
Sources said it wasn’t possible for the militants to send drones into Jammu and Kashmir carrying consignment of weapons and narcotics without active support of Pakistan army and Rangers.
Army and BSF have spotted and shot down many drones along the borders carrying weapons etc. However, there have been reports that some drones might have successfully offloaded consignments of weapons and narcotics and returned to Pakistan. The consignments are later picked up by Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of the militants.
Terror activities through drones mainly came into picture after June 27 twin terror attacks using flying machines on the Indian Air Force (IAF) Station in Jammu in which two IAF personnel were injured and minor damage was caused to the building. Subsequently, security forces and police recovered number of consignments of explosives and narcotics which had been sent from across the border to Jammu and Kashmir using drones.