New Delhi: The Border Security Force (BSF) has shot down a drone entering from Pakistan into Indian territory in the Ferozepur district in Punjab, the force said on Wednesday. BSF’s 136 Battalion deployed at the border heard the buzzing sound of a suspected flying object or drone entering from Pakistan into Indian territory in the area near Gandu Kilcha village in Ferozepur at around 11.25 pm on Tuesday, the force said in a statement.
‘BSF troops fired at the drone in an attempt to thwart the incursion’, said the BSF, one of the Central Armed Police Forces mandated to guard the 3,323 km India-Pakistan border. ‘During a search after first light in the concerned area, BSF troops along with Punjab Police recovered a Hexa-Copter or drone that had been brought down due to firing by BSF troops’. The BSF further said that the area has been cordoned off and police along with concerned sister agencies informed. ‘Thorough search of the area in under progress’.
Earlier in October, BSF had shot down a drone that entered India in Punjab’s Amritsar sector from the Pakistan side on the International Border. The drone (Quad-copter DJI Matrice) was spotted at 8.30 pm near Chhana village in Amritsar by BSF troops on patrolling duty. They immediately opened fire and it was shot down. According to BSF officials, two packets of contraband drugs of 2.5 Kg were recovered with the drone.
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. Of the 191 drones observed, 171 entered into Indian territory through the India-Pakistan border along the Punjab sector while 20 were seen in the Jammu sector, a report by 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 increased drone activity across the border was brought to the notice of Home Minister Amit Shah in the security review meeting in Srinagar recently with top security and intelligence chiefs in attendance. While BSF, which mans 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. As per reports, the group behind the transportation of weapons, explosives and drugs is Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terror outfits which have camps across the International Boundary and are backed by ISI. The Home Ministry has reportedly 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.