DGP Gaurav Yadav held a meeting with 44 village-level defence committees (VLDCs) in Pathankot and 32 in Gurdaspur. (X)
In a bid to combat cross border drone and narco terrorism in Punjab, the police will now take recourse to artificial intelligence (AI). DGP Gaurav Yadav, who toured the border areas of Pathankot and Gurdaspur, said that the Punjab police would harness the best available technology to counter the threat of drones on the border.
The menace, according to DGP, has increased but so has combat against the same. Yadav also convened a meeting with 44 village-level defence committees (VLDCs) in Pathankot to devise a fool-proof strategy to dismantle the drug supply network. The defence committees declared their respective villages ‘Drug Free Zones’.
During the meeting, the DGP stressed the need to revive an old human intelligence through real-time collection and sharing of information. He called for greater synergy between the police and VLDCs.
He also ordered to equip village police officers (VPO) with new ‘beat books’ to streamline the sharing of vital drug-related information with the police and timely exchange of crucial intelligence between the community and law enforcement.
Today, I held a meeting with 44 Village Level Defence Committees in Pathankot and urged citizens for their cooperation in Punjab’s war against drugs declared by CM @BhagwantMann on August 15 (1/3) pic.twitter.com/JPj5786dsD
— DGP Punjab Police (@DGPPunjabPolice) September 5, 2023
Narinder Bhargav, DIG Border range, Amritsar said that initially village-level defence committees were formed for the drone emergency response system (DERS). “The system works to activate the concerned VLDC’s to immediately cordon off the area where drone movement is noticed so that no smuggler can collect the air-dropped contraband. The implementation of the DERS marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to enhance border security,” he said.
These committees of 20 members each play a vital role in intelligence and on ground vigilance. According to DGP, Punjab Police have enforced a three-pronged strategy of enforcement, de-addiction and prevention to completely root out the menace of drugs from the state.
Describing the work of VLDC’s for tackling drone-related threats, Pathankot SSP Harkamal Preet Singh Khakh said, “We have made WhatsApp groups of all committees. Our village police officers are also added to the groups. The primary duty of the group members is to keep a watch on the movement of drones in their village. As soon as any member detects movement of any flying object in the area, an alert will be sounded in the group. Our VPOs will also reach the site and try to shoot down the drone.”
The DGP also conducted a meeting with the police and administrative officials of two districts of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). The motive of the meeting was to stop the smuggling of drugs from J&K to Punjab.
Meanwhile, in an intelligence-based operation launched by the Amritsar rural police in the Kathunangal village of Punjab’s Amritsar, 15 kg of heroin was seized. The accused was held by the Amritsar rural police. According to the official statement, the operation was conducted on the basis of the inputs from the VLDC. The accused was identified as Harpreet Singh, a native of Punjab’s Chola Sahib.
Police officials said that the preliminary investigations in the case have revealed that the heroin consignment belonged to drug smuggler Happy Jatt and arrested accused Harpreet was going to deliver the consignment on his directions. Accused Happy Jatt is the main kingpin and most wanted drug smuggler of this belt, the police added.
A case was registered against the accused under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS).