India Says Suspected Drones From Pakistan Spotted in Three Areas of Jammu and Kashmir
06:42 GMT 30.07.2021 (Updated: 14:40 GMT 06.08.2022)
India has accused Pakistani troops of using drones to airdrop arms and ammunition for militants along the border in Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has started the process of acquiring counter-unmanned aircraft systems (CUASs) that can destroy multiple drones with laser-directed energy weapons.
Suspected drones from Pakistan were spotted at three different areas of Jammu and Kashmir's Samba district near the international border (IB) on Thursday night, Indian officials said.
According to India's Border Security Force (BSF), unidentified lights were seen in the sky near the border, but they disappeared after a few rounds were fired. The other two suspected drones vanished after hovering over security installations at Bari Brahmana near the Jammu-Pathankot Highway.
This is the second time in less than a week that suspected drones have been spotted near the border.
The latest incident comes days ahead of 5 August, the day the Indian Parliament revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 and turned it into a federally administered union territory, separating the Ladakh region from the state as another union territory.
Last week, the Jammu and Kashmir Police shot down a drone in the Akhnoor area of Jammu, 8 km inside the IB. The police recovered 5 kg of a substance from an improvised explosive device (IED) from the drone. Security agencies are probing whether the Pakistan-based terror organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was behind the drone activity.
India has beefed up its security cover along the border with Pakistan since a "terror attack" at an Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Jammu last month.
Two low-intensity improvised explosive devices were dropped by drones causing a blast at the airbase. The Indian Defence Ministry said the next day that they thwarted a similar attack near a military station in Jammu.
In the wake of the attack, the sale, possession, storage, and usage of drones and unmanned flying objects were banned in three districts of Kashmir in close proximity to the border.
Some 11 drones were recovered from an alleged smuggler along the India-Nepal border in Bihar's Madhubani district on Thursday.