The Tamil Nadu Police have detained nine Ukranian nationals — six men and three women — for using a drone camera at the Arunachaleswarar temple in Thiruvannamalai town on Tuesday. The police have seized the drone, which weighs around 1 kg, and interrogated the tourists.
The tourists said they use the drone camera to take pictures and videos of famous tourist sites wherever they travel, the Times of India quoted a police official as saying.
The police had received information about tourists using drone cameras near the temple two days ago. They detained the Ukrainians from the temple premises on Tuesday.
According to a directive of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), individuals or private entities need to get no-objection certificates from the police before using an unmanned aerial vehicle in India.
"People are not aware that they need to get permission from competent authorities to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in India. Moreover, these objects are easily available in the market and are most-sought-after for recreational purposes," the officer said.
If people are found using UAVs without permission, they can be charged a fine of Rs 1,000 for endangering others' lives or sent to jail for six months.
Similar incidents took place in Tiruvannamalai hills in January, when the police arrested six software engineers for taking pictures and videos with a UAV. A British citizen was arrested in a separate incident the same month.