Security forces’ alertness, awareness among border residents deter drone activities across IB

A Border Security Force (BSF) officer patrolling alone the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.
A Border Security Force (BSF) officer patrolling alone the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.File Photo [Mir Imran for Greater Kashmir]

Jammu: Drone activities across the International Border in Jammu, Samba and Kathua have always remained a challenge for the security agencies but frequent check through search operations and awareness among the border residents has deterred the drone activities to a greater extend for last one month.

These activities were frequent two months back and many such attempts of Pakistan were foiled by the security forces with timely information provided by the villagers, except certain incidents in which the drones sent by Pakistan dropped narcotics and weapons, but they too were seized with the timely action from the coordinated effort of border residents, Village Defence Committee, J&K Police, Border Security Force and intelligence wings.

The situation has taken a complete u-turn along the International Border where the residents responded bravely as the first responders with the support from the security forces after noting the suspicious flying objects in the sky. Most drone activities were noticed during the night.  This alertness among the people came after the police-public meet and awareness campaign launched by J&K Police, BSF and other security forces.

DySP of J&K Police, Special Operation Group (SOG) Samba, G.R. Bhardawaj told Greater Kashmir that “We continuously conduct search operations to check the drone activities and suspicious activities.”

“We have conducted public awareness camps as they are the first responders to the suspicious activities, infiltration or drone activities following which the police acts without wasting a second,” he said, and added that drone activities had increased in the border belt of Samba i.e., Regal, Chahwal, Mangu Chak, Mawa, Chak Dulma and other areas of the district.

He said that “The border residents play an important role. The J&K Police often holds joint nakas with the members of Village Defence Committee in the border areas (to check on the anti-national activities/drone activities).”

“Paksitan is a notorious country. We have border with an enemy country not with Switzerland. They always look for opportunity. Therefore, there is no question of lowering our guards or alertness level. We are always on alert and patrolling round the clock all along the border belt,” said a senior BSF officer who wished not to be quoted.

The BSF officer said that “Even in peacetime, we visit the zero line areas and check all the vulnerable areas along the International Border. The foggy season is also a challenge but we never reduce our alertness on normal days as well.”

“Border residents are aware and alert too although drone activities continue though not frequently from nearly a month,” said ex-sarpanch, Changiya, Raguvir Singh.

Singh said that “Even if the drones have been noticed in the last month, all of their attempts were foiled due to the alertness among the border residents and the security forces. The security forces seized whatever was dropped by the drones i.e., narcotics and weapons/ammunition.”

“The foggy season is a challenge but we have not lowered our guards,” he added while saying that they work in coordination with J&K Police and BSF’s brave hearts. However, there has been a decline in drone activities for almost a month except isolated incidents, he said.

Naib Sapanch of a border village Manyari in Kathua district, Kuldeep Kumar said that “People promptly respond to the suspicious activities. The security forces have boosted our morale with timely support and action within no time.”

He said that there had been some drone activities in Kathua’s border belt but the security forces especially J&K Police and BSF were able to recover the dropped weapons, arms and ammunition.

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