Punjab: Drones being used to ferry heroine and China-made pistols from Pakistan
The use of drones to ferry drugs like heroin and weapons from Pakistan side of the border, have witnessed steady rise in the first two months of the year 2023.
According to fresh reports, the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel have shot down at least five drones from Pakistan that were carrying drugs across the international border in Punjab so far this year, all in the past three weeks.
Additionally, forces have recovered at least 10 kg of heroin attached to the drones. On Sunday (February 19) morning, border guards recovered another drone, attached with 2.7 heroin from a field near the border fence in Ghaniake village in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district.
According to a Hindustan Times report, security personnel shot down 22 drones flying into India, last year. In 2021, one such case was reported, none in 2020, and just two in 2019.
In May 2019, the BSF spotted the first case of a drone being used as a drug carrier. Meanwhile, an increase in such cases this year has triggered seriousness among the BSF and surveillance has been increased at the border.
“The deployment of countermeasures has restricted drones from flying deep inside but within 1 km of the border. Often, they return within seconds,” said Asif Jalal, inspector general of BSF’s Punjab frontier unit.
The officer further informed that earlier most of the cases of drone intrusion occurred in Amritsar and Tarn Taran district, but not the situation has changed. A reward of Rs. 1 Lakh has also been announced for informing about any such intrusion, and about anyone who is involved in such matters.
The HT report confirms that of the 22 cases in 2022, nine drones were shot in areas under the Amritsar station headquarters, while eight were in Firozpur.
In both places, different villages were used as drop-off zones. In at least three cases last year, the border outpost at Harbhajan village in Ferozpur was used, and two each in Kaliya (Ferozepur) and Havelian (Amritsar).
Besides drugs, BSF has also recovered weapons like China-made pistols and cartridges from a drone that entered India through MW Uttar in Ferozpur sector.