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Army, BSF sound red alert against Pak drones

Last updated on: September 26, 2019 21:56 IST

Taking serious note of Pakistan using Chinese drones to airdrop weapons in Punjab, the Army and the Border Security Force have sounded an all-out alert along the entire Indo-Pak border and Line of Control and have asked border-guarding troops and observation posts to keep a 'hawk's eye' over similar air-intrusions in future.

GPS-fitted drones capable of lifting up to 10 kg of weight flew in from Pakistan seven to eight times to airdrop several cache of arms, ammunition and fake currency, which were seized in Punjab's Tarn Taran district, the ongoing probe by the Punjab police has revealed.

The Army and BSF officials said the troops and observation posts have been asked to maintain the highest possible vigilance along the International Border and Line of Control in Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Rajouri, Poonch and Baramulla, Kupawara districts of the state.

 

"It is a new modus operandi of Pakistan to smuggle arms, ammunition and explosives in India for triggering terror. We have activated our forces to keep a hawk's eye on movement of drones along the IB," BSF officials said.

BSF troops guarding over 180 km of IB with Pakistan have strengthened their observation posts and 'listening posts' to keep a close watch against any intrusion by drones.

The BSF is also patrolling riverine areas along the IB and has deployed water patrol teams in the Chenab river to foil terrorists' design to infiltrate into India from Pakistan, they said.

They have been told to shoot down any drone intruding into the Indian airspace, they said.

The Army has also intensified patrolling in mountainous valleys and riverine areas along the LoC in Kupwara, Baramulla, Poonch and Rajouri districts to check intrusions of drones from Pakistan and infiltration by terrorists.

The troops along the LoC are on the highest degree of alertness in the wake of Pakistan's plans to stage infiltration and use drones to smuggle weapons, Army officials said.

A top Army commander on Wednesday said Indian armed forces are capable of identifying such devices and any military drone venturing into Indian territory from Pakistan will be 'shot down'.

Referring to the reports on intrusion by Pakistani drones and their low weight carrying capacity, South Western Command chief Lt Gen Alok Singh Kler said there was 'nothing to worry' at the moment.

The Punjab Police on Sunday claimed to have busted a terror module of the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF), backed by a terror group based in Pakistan and Germany.
It said the terror group was conspiring to unleash a series of strikes in Punjab and adjoining states.

During investigation, the accused revealed that drones were used to airdrop arms and ammunition, officials of the Counter-Intelligence Wing of the Punjab Police said.

Doval pitches for putting anti-infiltration grid, vital installations in J-K on 'high alert'

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Thursday pitched for putting the anti-infiltration grid along the border with Pakistan on 'high alert' and securing vital installations in Jammu and Kashmir amid reports of large-scale infiltration attempts by terrorists, officials said.

Doval, who was on a daylong visit to Kashmir Valley, chaired a high-level meeting with security forces and administrative officials in Srinagar.

He also enquired about the law and order situation and availability of essential supplies in Kashmir Valley, officials said.

During his meeting with Army and BSF officers, the NSA stressed that in view of reports of large-scale infiltration attempts by terrorists, the anti-infiltration grid along the border be put on high alert.

In view of the reports that Pakistan-sponsored terror outfits may carry out some demonstrative and sensational acts of terror, the security of vital installations must be ensured and all arrangements regarding strict vigilance and keeping the troops on alert be made a priority, he said.

The NSA complimented the Jammu and Kashmir administration and security forces for their good work and maintaining law and order in the entire region.

He appreciated that no complaint of human rights violations has been reported from any part of Kashmir Valley since the central government abrogated Jammu and Kashmir's special status in early August.

Doval visited various places in the valley accompanied by senior administrative and police officials.

This is his second visit to Kashmir Valley since the Centre announced its decisions on Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.

BSF launches operation to detect cross-border tunnel in Jammu-Kathua sector

The BSF has launched a massive operation along the 180-km IB with Pakistan to detect underground, cross-border tunnels in view of possible infiltration attempts by armed terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Thursday.

Armed with modern tools and equipment, BSF personnel began the operation with clearing bushes and digging and tilling the land close to the three-tier border fencing up to the Zero Line with Pakistan.

"The exercise has been launched along the IB in the Jammu frontier area to detect cross-border, underground tunnel," a senior BSF officer said.

The officials said the troops had been asked to dig anti-tunnelling trenches of a particular depth along the border fencing in Jammu, Samba and Kathua.

The operation was initiated earlier this week following the arrest of a Pakistani youth from a village in the R S Pura sector in Jammu.

The youth, Mohmmad Amin, crossed the International Border and managed to reach the village last week even though there was no breach of fencing, raising apprehension about cross-border tunnels, they said.

In some places, Pakistani troops tried to disrupt the process by resorting to firing, they said.

As a counter-infiltration measure, the BSF has also activated its ground sensors to detect underground tunnels.

The BSF launched a mega exercise to fortify the 'anti-infiltration grid' along the border with Pakistan in Punjab and Jammu in July this year, and mobilised its entire senior field brass, thousands of troops and machinery.

The operation, code named 'Sudarshan', was launched on July 1 and will cover the entire International Border with Pakistan stretching over 1,000 km.

The BSF and Army troops have detected six cross-border tunnels along the border in Jammu region since 2012. These were used to push Pakistani terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir, they said.

Earlier this week, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said Pakistan has reactivated the Balakot terror camp very recently and about 500 infiltrators were waiting to sneak into India.

Balakot had suffered damaged and was destroyed by the cross-border strike by the Indian Air Force in February.

"That is why people have got away from there and now it has been reactivated," the Army chief said in Chennai on Monday.

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