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Shah takes stock of Pakistan drone menace as agencies discuss way forward

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Over the past couple of years, Pakistan has been using drones to transport weapons and explosives into Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. During a security review meeting, the problem was brought to the notice of Amit Shah at Srinagar.

New Delhi, Oct 07: Recognising the danger of drones from Pakistan, Union Home Minister, Amit Shah has asked the Border Security Force (BSF) to lead an inter-agency group to counter the menace.

Over the past couple of years, Pakistan has been using drones to transport weapons and explosives into Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. During a security review meeting, the problem was brought to the notice of Shah at Srinagar.

Shah takes stock of Pakistan drone menace as agencies discuss way forward

Shah issued the directive after the BSF and the police had differing views on how the drones are being countered. While this year has already witnessed three such incidents, in 2020 and 2021 there were six and twelve such instances.

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It was brought to the notice of the top brass by the police that the drones being sent from Pakistan not only drop off arms and ammunition, but heroin produced in Afghanistan as well.

An Intelligence Bureau official tells OneIndia that drones have become a nightmare for the security agencies. In 2019, a report had been put out speaking about the increasing threat by rogue drones.

These drones are a potential threat and the government is looking for a solution to counter this problem. In this regard the agencies conducted a data estimation and learnt that there are over 6 lakh rogue or unregulated drones of various sizes and capacities.

Recent incidents like the lethal drone attack on Saudi Arabia's largest petroleum company and arms dropping by UAVs in Punjab from across the India-Pakistan border has only alerted the agencies to come up with a plan to counter the drones.

These agencies are now looking at some specific anti-drone techniques like sky fence, drone gun, ATHENA, drone catcher and Skywall 100 to intercept and immobilise suspicious and lethal remote-controlled aerial platforms.

A recent paper titled 'Drones: A new frontier for Police' published in the Indian Police Journal (IPJ) by IPS officer and Additional Director General in Rajasthan Police, Pankaj Kumar Singh, has talked about these new techniques.

A drone gun is capable of jamming the radio, global positioning system (GPS) and mobile signal between the drone and the pilot and forces the drone to ground in good time before it could wreak any damage. This Australia designed weapon has an effective range of 2 kms, the paper said.

Another solution to block a lethal drone is the sky fence system that uses a range of signal disruptors to jam the flight path and prevent them from entering their target, a sensitive installation or event venue, it said.

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Officials said prototypes of these counter-drone weapons were displayed for the first time at an open field in a BSF camp in Bhondsi, Haryana last week as part of a national conference organised by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) on anti-drone technology.

The Centre now wants to impart training to police officers of all states to check this menace. The Bureau of Police Research and Development is currently in talks with the police chiefs of all states so that training can be imparted to counter new terror threats that have been emerging.

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