Drone flights from across the border remain a major concern on the international border in Punjab and Jammu with 67 sightings in 2021 so far (Image courtesy: Twitter/@BSF_India)
The Border Security Force (BSF), which is celebrating its 57th Raising Day today, has said that it is installing anti-drone devices in the border areas of Punjab and Jammu to shoot down the Pakistani drones carrying drugs and even explosives to spread unrest in the region.
Speaking to media on the eve of the raising day, BSF Director General Pankaj Kumar Singh said that the drone flights from across the border remain a major concern on the international border in Punjab and Jammu with 67 sightings in 2021 so far.
"By and large, these are coming down with drugs, mainly heroin. We have been able to shoot down drones twice," said Singh, adding that more anti-drone devices are being installed on the international border with Pakistan.
On their Raising Day, greetings to the @BSF_India family. BSF is widely respected for its courage and professionalism. The force makes a significant contribution towards securing India and is also at the forefront of many humanitarian efforts in times of crisis and calamities. pic.twitter.com/HybLzgsnDO
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 1, 2021
The BSF DG said the force, along with the other intelligence agencies, continues to regularly monitor and track terror plans and conspiracies hatched across the border, especially after the return of Taliban in Afghanistan.
He also rejected allegations regarding the Home Ministry's notification of enhancing the jurisdiction of the border guarding force to 50 km inside the international border.
"Demographic balance has changed in Bengal and Assam leading to revolt among the people. Voting pattern has changed in the neighbouring border districts. The government's thinking was that this notification can help in catching the infiltrators," said Singh while referring to the 2011 census which reflected the demographic changes.
He made it clear that the force is not trying to act as a parallel police and the powers to investigate and file charge sheets continue to remain with the state.
"There is no problem at all, we work in tandem with the local police. The notification, issued by the Central government, was essentially in the context of the Passports Act and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, with the earlier dealing with people going out of the country and the latter with people entering the country. The government standardised a 50-km region from the border in all border states manned by the BSF so that the forces could easily move from one theatre to the other," Singh said.
The Director General noted that strict border patrolling along with deployment of surveillance devices has also drastically brought down cases of cattle smuggling between India and Bangladesh.
He said that only 18 thousand cattle were caught this year compared to nearly 1.7 lakh cattle per year two-three years ago. The BSF DG said, most of the area of Bangladesh border is fenced and around 10 to 12 per cent area is not fenced because of difficult terrain.