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Punjab: Drone activity along India-Pakistan border poses challenge for security agencies

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

Security agencies continue to face challenges from the movement of drones used to airdrop weapons, ammunition, and drugs; over 150 such activities have been reported this year at various locations along the India-Pakistan border in Punjab, according to officials.

According to them, Punjab was where the first usage of drones for transporting drugs, weapons, and ammunition was discovered in 2019.

According to the sources, the Border Security Force, which is tasked with securing the 553 km of border with Pakistan, has shot down 10 drones this year, including three in the past week, in addition to preventing the entry of several unmanned aerial vehicles.

“More than 150 drone activities have been spotted so far,” said a senior official of the BSF (Punjab Frontier).

According to the officials, two drones were shot down on October 16 and 17 in the Amritsar sector after one was shot down on October 14 close to the Shahpur border station in Amritsar.

According to the officials, smugglers supported by Pakistan's espionage agency ISI use advanced, high-end Chinese drones that produce no noise and can fly at greater altitudes.

A holding and releasing mechanism was also discovered with the quadcopter (DJI Matrice) drone that was shot down on October 14.

According to the officials, the majority of drone activities have been centred in the districts of Amritsar and Tarn Taran, which are close to the international border.

However, they noted, drone movements have also been seen in the Ferozepur and Gurdaspur sectors.

According to the top BSF official, this year the BSF worked with the Punjab Police to uncover a group that was smuggling drugs and guns across the border in the Tarn Taran area.

The BSF made the decision last month to kill Indian smugglers who visit the area near the international border to retrieve drugs and weapons that had been smuggled from Pakistan.

The BSF official replied, "The law allows us to fire at the smuggler if he comes to take the shipment or attacks.

The BSF has also chosen to award those members of its staff who shoot down a drone that was infiltrating Indian territory.

The BSF had made the announcement to provide a Rs. 1 lakh reward in April of this year to anyone with intelligence that results in the capture of those employing drones to smuggle drugs, weapons, or ammunition out of Pakistan.

Edited by: Satyavrat Singh

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