Drone activity along India-Pak border poses challenge for security agencies

CHANDIGARH, Oct 23: Movement of drones for airdropping drugs, arms and ammunition continues to pose a challenge for security agencies with over 150 such activities noticed this year so far at several points along the India-Pakistan border in Punjab, said officials.
They said the use of drones for the smuggling narcotics, arms and ammunition first came to notice in 2019 in Punjab.
The Border Security Force, which is guarding the 553 km stretch of border with Pakistan, has this year shot down 10 drones–three in the last week–besides thwarting intrusion of many unmanned aerial vehicles, the officials said.
“More than 150 drone activities have been spotted so far,” said a senior official of the BSF (Punjab Frontier).
One drone was shot down near the Shahpur border outpost in Amritsar on October 14, two were gunned down on October 16 and 17 in the Amritsar sector, said the officials.
The officials said smugglers backed by Pakistan’s spy agency ISI are using sophisticated and high-end Chinese drones, with minimum sound and capable of flying at higher level.
A drone which was shot down on October 14 was a quadcopter (DJI Matrice) and a holding and releasing mechanism also found with this drone.
Most drone activities have been concentrated in areas along the international border in Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts, said the officials.
However, drone movements have also been spotted in Ferozepur and Gurdaspur areas, they added.
The BSF had coordinated with the Punjab Police in busting a gang involved in smuggling of narcotics and weapons from across the border in Tarn Taran area this year, said the senior BSF official.
Last month, the BSF had decided to shoot Indian smugglers who come to collect narcotics and weapons, smuggled from Pakistan, near the international border.
“If a smuggler comes to receive the consignment or attacks, the law permits us to fire at the smuggler,” said the BSF official.
The BSF has also decided to reward its personnel who gun down a drone sneaking into Indian territory.
In April this year, the BSF had announced to give Rs 1 lakh reward to a person who provides information leading to the arrest of persons using drones for smuggling of narcotics, arms and ammunition from Pakistan. (PTI)