The Jammu and Kashmir Police shot down a Pakistani drone carrying a five-kilogram Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Kanachak near Jammu on early Friday morning.
After June 27 attack on Satwari Air Force Station, in the outskirt of Jammu city, intrusion of terror drones - controlled and manned from across the border has become a routine affair in the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
It was only after the repeated intrusion of drones that a high alert has already been sounded in border areas of Jammu province to keep a watch on all movements from across the border. According to police, this morning a drone was spotted near Kanachak, which was shot down by cops.
"We had deployed team near Akhnoor based on specific information. Around 1 am, a drone was detected. When it was lowered to drop the payload, the police team started firing and shot it down. Payload weighing around 5 kg was IED in an almost prepared condition," Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Jammu Zone, Mukesh Singh said.
GPS controlled device was manned from across the border
ADGP said that it was a Hexacopter with a flight controller and GPS. Interestingly, the serial number of the flight controller is a digit same from the drone which was found in Kathua, last year. "This drone is an assembled one with some parts from China, others from Taiwan", he said.
Reports said that the six-winged drone was six feet long and the IED was wrapped in polythene, and it seems it was to be assembled and then used by terrorists.
"Payload is dropped by using a string from drones. In this incident, it was found that string with a similar pattern was used to drop a bomb crater at the airport. This confirmed that it was dropped using a drone," ADGP said.
Pakistan dropping arms for LeT, JeM terror outfits
The ADGP revealed that operators across the borders are dropping arms for two terror outfits namely Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
"We have recovered 16 AK47 rifles, 3 M4 rifles, 34 pistols, 15 grenades, 18 IEDs and Rs 4 lakh cash in the last 1.5 years sent via drone sorties," Singh said and added that arms dropped through 30 drone sorties have been recovered by the police during the last one and half year.
Jammu already on high alert after Satwari Air Force station attack
Drones have been repeatedly spotted in the region since June 27 when two drones were used to target the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Satwari. In the first-ever such attack in the country, two personnel were injured.
Security forces have since fired at several drones, but this is the first time that police have shot down such a flying object carrying a payload for terrorists.
NIA is investigating June 27 drone attack on Satwari Air Force Station
The National Investigating Agency (NIA) has already taken over the investigation of the Satwari drone attack case, which was the first such instance of suspected Pakistan-based terrorists deploying unmanned aerial vehicles to strike at vital installations in India.
There have been several incidents of Pakistan-based terrorists using drones in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir to drop arms, ammunition, drugs, and money to fuel terrorism in the region.
- On Wednesday, after four days, suspected drones were spotted again hovering over the Jammu airport near the IAF station. At least four drones were spotted hovering over military installations in Jammu, Samba, and Kathua.
- As reported earlier in February this year, the BSF had recovered bombs dropped by a drone in the Samba sector. 14 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) with in-built magnets, which could be used as "sticky bombs" by sticking them on vehicles and controlling them using a timer and a remotely held device. Arms dropped by a drone operated from the Pakistani side were also recovered in Akhnoor some months back.
- In October 2020, the Army had shot down a Pakistan Army quadcopter along the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K's Keran sector. Equipped with cameras, the China-made DJI Mavic 2 Pro model drone was hovering in the air when it was spotted by security personnel.
- The BSF shot down a Hexa-copter in J&K's Kathua district in June 2020. The drone was found carrying M4 semi-automatic carbine and Chinese grenades.