SUSPECTED DRONE MOVEMENT IN RAJOURI, POONCH | ‘Vital installations, highway can be target’

SUSPECTED DRONE MOVEMENT IN RAJOURI, POONCH | ‘Vital installations, highway can be target’
The intelligence agencies have expressed apprehensions that vital security installations and even important road links like Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch National Highway could be the target.Special arrangement

Rajouri: The security apparatus in the twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch has been strengthened in the wake of multiple incidents of spotting drone-like aerial objects.

The intelligence agencies have expressed apprehensions that vital security installations and even important road links like Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch National Highway could be the target.

Meanwhile, the field forces have been asked to put in place all possible measures to thwart a Jammu Technical Airport-like strike.

Multiple incidents of spotting suspicious aerial objects like drones have taken place in areas along the Line of Control (LoC), triggering a new security concern in the twin districts.

Similar incidents in these districts occurred in July and August this year but no fresh spotting of such aerial objects was reported during the past three months.

The intelligence agencies and security forces are of the view that the use of drones for carrying out any strike on vital installations could not be ruled out.

“Drones are sophisticated aerial devices that can be used for different purposes ranging from aerial surveillance, capturing videos and photos, taking longitudinal and latitudinal details of an area as well as dropping arms and ammunition,” official sources said.

They said that the use of drones for the dropping of arms and ammunition had taken place many times in areas close to the LoC and the International Border (IB).

The official sources said that on 19 October 2020, three militants were held in Rajouri’s Chawa village after the trio picked up a consignment of arms and ammunition dropped using drones.

They said that on 3 October 2021, arms and ammunition dropped by drones were recovered in Jammu’s Satwari area while on 23 July 2021, Police shot down a drone in Jammu’s Akhnoor subdivision.

The official sources said that during the last year, multiple incidents of drone spotting had taken place in Rajouri and Poonch districts and people in the Thandikassi area near Rajouri town claimed to have seen suspicious aerial objects over half a dozen times in the year 2021.

They said that the use of these drones for carrying out attacks could not be ruled out as such an incident had taken place on 27 June 2021 when twin explosions rocked Jammu’s Technical Airport and it came to the fore that the explosive material was dropped by a drone.

“The security forces and intelligence agencies have apprehensions that such aerial objects can be used to target vital security installations in Rajouri and Poonch districts, especially in areas 3 km to 5 km within the radius of LoC,” the official sources said. “The security forces and intelligence agencies also have apprehensions that some vital road links like Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch National Highway can also be targeted using these aerial objects for which all the field agencies and forces have been asked to maintain a high alert.”

They said that the security apparatus has been strengthened to thwart any nefarious designs using these aerial objects.

The official sources said that there were clear directions to shoot down any aerial object soon after it was spotted.

“There is a high alert and we are closely examining the situation,” said a senior official wishing not to be named.

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