New Delhi: The Border Security Force (BSF), which is responsible for guarding India’s international borders, including with Pakistan, does not have any equipment or mechanism to detect or bring down drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). A senior BSF officer told The Sunday Guardian, “The BSF or for that matter any paramilitary force does not have any mechanism to detect drones or UAVs, despite it being a border guarding force.”
This conversation took place after police in Punjab detected at least eight drone sorties from Pakistan into India carrying AK-47 rifles, fake currency, satellite communication devices, ammunition, hand grenades and pistols. The arms and ammunition were found by the Punjab police in Tarn Taran district, located along the International Border with Pakistan.
Police officials from Punjab said that it was for the first time that drones from Pakistan were used to drop weapons in India. According to Punjab police’s intelligence report, the weapons were being sent to reignite the Khalistani movement in Punjab and carry out terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A.
Sources in the Punjab police said that the half burnt drone that they recovered along with arms and ammunition was Chinese-made. It was fitted with GPS, which had set the exact coordinates for the drop of the consignment.
However, sources in the BSF are raising questions on how eight sorties of drones were missed by the organisations that have the capability to detect such objects.
Another BSF officer told this correspondent: “If the Punjab police is saying that eight sorties over 10 days took place to drop these huge consignments, how did the intelligence of the Army and the Air Force fail? Both the Army and the Air Force have the technology and mechanism to detect and bring down drones and UAVs. It should be a matter of investigation as to how these drones were missed.”
The officer also said that the BSF did not have any such intelligence report of any drone activities going on along the International Border with Pakistan.
Sources in the Punjab police, however, said that the drones could be flying at a very low level to avoid the radars. The drones were also believed to be wrapped in black cloth to cover any possible lights coming from them.
However, the Indian Army issued a statement saying that there was nothing to worry about and that the systems and radars of the Indian armed forces were in place and any such misadventure by Pakistan would be dealt with sternly.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, apprising him of Pakistan’s sinister motive and has asked the latter to handle the issue of the drone problem at the earliest.
The National Investigation Agency is currently investigating the matter and is likely to submit its report to the Ministry of Home Affairs soon.