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BSF shoots down second Pakistani drone in 3 days along Punjab border

Another drone that entered Indian territory from the Pakistan side was shot down by alert Border Security Force (BSF) troops on Sunday night.

According to BSF, at about 9.15 pm, alert BSF troops of the 22 Battalion thwarted a drone intrusion attempt by shooting down an Octa-copter (8 propellers) in the area of Border Out Post Rania in the Amritsar sector of Punjab. The drone is approximately 12 kg in weight. Two propellers sustained damage due to firing by BSF troops. The consignment was also recovered.

“Search operation is underway. It is the second drone that BSF troops have shot down in the last two days,” said a senior BSF officer.

Officials in the BSF told ANI that drones are being used by Pakistan’s side to transport weapons, explosives and narcotics across the international border in Punjab from Pakistan.

On Friday, BSF troops shot down a drone that entered India in Punjab’s Gurdaspur sector from the Pakistan side on the International Border in the early hours.

A senior BSF officer said that the drone was spotted by BSF troops on patrolling duty. They immediately opened fire and it was shot down.

The security forces have seized various AK series assault rifles, pistols, MP4 carbines, carbine magazines, high explosive grenades as well as narcotics which were transported into Indian territory from Pakistan from the drones shot down so far.

As per security agencies, BSF intelligence inputs and Jammu and Kashmir Police officials, the drones are also used to drop packets of Afghan heroin for financing terror operations in the Valley and Punjab.

It is learnt that the group behind the transportation of weapons, explosives and drugs is Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terror outfits which have camps across the International Boundary and are backed by ISI.

In the past nine months, security forces have observed the illegal entry of 191 drones into Indian territory from neighbouring Pakistan, raising major concerns in terms of internal security in the country.

The central government recently shared the input from the security forces deployed at the India-Pakistan border to maintain such illegal attempts from the Pakistan side.

Of the 191 drones observed, 171 entered Indian territory through the India-Pakistan border along the Punjab sector while 20 were seen in the Jammu sector.

Official documents further reveal that most of these drones or UAVs managed to flee while a total of seven have been shot down by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, who are deployed along the India-Pakistan border to keep a tab on such illegal activities being orchestrated by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.

Among seven drones shot down this year between January 1 to September 15 were observed in Punjab’s Amritsar, Ferozpur and Abohar regions.

The increased drone activity across the border was brought to the notice of Home Minister Amit Shah in the security review meeting in Srinagar recently with top security and intelligence chiefs in attendance. While BSF, which means the international border with Pakistan in the Jammu sector believes that it has been able to repel drones carrying arms, ammunition and explosives from Pakistan, the state police and the intelligence agencies differ with this assessment.

The Home Ministry is learnt to have directed the concerned agencies to find out a solution to stop drone activities and meanwhile security agencies and law enforcement forces are asked to keep a special watch on such movements.