At a time when Pakistan-backed terror groups are using small drones to smuggle weapons and narcotics into India, the security forces have been given clearance to shoot down drones flying at 1,000 feet or below on the international border, reported news agency ANI on Sunday. The decision has been taken after Punjab police recently confirmed at least eight drone sorties, carrying 80 kg of weapons that were sent across the border into Punjab by revived Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) outufit backed by Pakistan and Germany-based terror group.
With initial investigations revealing the use of drones to deliver terrorists weapons and communication hardware across the border, the Punjab chief minister had urged the Central government to direct the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Border Security Force (BSF) to launch necessary counter-measures to check any further threat from drones to the border state of Punjab.
Earlier, on Wednesday as well, a Pakistani drone was spotted by Border Security Force (BSF) personnel over Ferozepur district in Punjab. Security forces received inputs that Pakistan is using Chinese drones to smuggle arms across the border.
Earlier this year, the central government had released new guidelines for drones. According to the guidelines, drones cannot operate in strategic locations, military installations and Delhi’s Vijay Chowk area. Users of the nano drone, which weighs less than 250 gram and flies up to 50 feet, are exempted from securing permission, including from local police. But micro drones flying up to 200 feet and small drones flying over 450 feet and above will have to require police permission.
Twenty-three sites have been identified across the country where the drone technology will be put to extensive use to evaluate its further usage. A drone task force under the ministry will provide draft recommendations for drone Regulations 2.0.