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J-K: NIA conducts searches in drone delivery case
New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday conducted searches at multiple locations including the Poonch district in Jammu and Kashmir in connection with a drone delivery case.
According to the NIA, no detentions in the matter have been made so far. In the past nine months, security forces have observed the illegal entry of 191 drones into Indian territory from neighbouring Pakistan, raising major concerns in terms of internal security in the country.
The central government recently shared the input from the security forces deployed at the India-Pakistan border to maintain such illegal attempts from the Pakistan side.
In the early hours today, troops of the Border Security Force (BSF) shot down a drone that entered India in Punjab's Gurdaspur sector from the Pakistan side on the International Border.
It is pertinent to mention that in the past nine months the army personnel have observed 191 drones, of which 171 entered into Indian territory through the India-Pakistan border along the Punjab sector while 20 were seen in the Jammu sector, a document accessed by the ANI mentioned.
As per the document, the "UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) observation in Indo-Pak border was seen in Punjab and Jammu frontier with effect from January 1, 2022, to September 30, 2022".
The document further revealed that most of these drones or UAVs managed to flee while a total of seven have been shot down by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, who have been deployed along the India-Pakistan border to keep a tab on such illegal activities being orchestrated by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence.
Officials in the BSF told ANI that the drones are being used by Pakistan's side to transport weapons, explosives and narcotics across the international border in Jammu and Punjab from Pakistan.
The increased drone activity across the border was brought to the notice of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the security review meeting in Srinagar recently with top security and intelligence chiefs in attendance. While BSF, which means the international border with Pakistan in the Jammu sector, believes that it has been able to repel drones carrying arms, ammunition and explosives from Pakistan, the state police and the intelligence agencies differ with this assessment.
The security forces have seized various AK series assault rifles, pistols, MP4 carbines, carbine magazines, high explosive grenades as well as narcotics which were transported into Indian territory from Pakistan from the drones shot down so far.
As per security agencies, BSF intelligence inputs and Jammu and Kashmir Police officials, the drones are also used to drop packets of Afghan heroin for financing terror operations in the Valley and Punjab.
It is learnt that the group behind the transportation of weapons, explosives and drugs is Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terror outfits which has camps across the International Boundary and is backed by ISI.
The Home Ministry is learnt to have directed the concerned agencies to find out a solution to stop drone activities and meanwhile security agencies and law enforcement forces are asked to keep a special watch on such movements.
According to the document accessed by ANI, the seven drones that were shot down by the BSF troops between January 1 to September 15 were observed in Punjab's Amritsar, Ferozpur and Abohar regions.
As per inputs, the first drone was shot down by the BSF on January 18 in Punjab's Amritsar near Havelian Border Out Post (BoP). The BSF personnel on February 13 again shot down another drone soon after it entered Indian territory and was observed near CB Chand BoP in Amritsar. The BSF personnel also shot down two drones on March 7 and March 9 in Ferozpur's TJ Singh and Amritsar's Havelian BoPs respectively.
On April 29, the BSF personnel shot down a drone near Pulmoran BoP in Amritsar. The BSF personnel also shot down another drone on May 8 when it was observed near Bharopal BoP in Amritsar. The last drone shot down by the BSF personnel was observed on June 26 near Jhanger BoP in the Abohar region of Punjab. (ANI)