Terrorists and smugglers from Pakistan may use drones and paragliders to escape detection while dropping arms and contraband items in India from across the border, a multi-agency group has said in a confidential report accessed exclusively by ET.
The report submitted to the government also expresses concern over attempts to “revive terrorist activities” in Punjab. The group set up by the government includes members of the Indian Army, BSF and Punjab Police, among other agencies.
Senior officials representing their respective agencies have elaborated in the report on the threat of use of drones and paragliders from across the border for dropping arms and drugs that can be retrieved later using the GPS coordinates. “This possibility needs to be factored into security arrangements, especially around international border,” says the report.
This comes after BSF troops recorded 40 observations of flying of drones, 36 of which were spotted in Amritsar sector alone. With regard to Punjab, the report says: “Several inputs have been received from central agencies regarding infiltration of terrorists through international border and cooperation between Sikh militants with J&K militants for revival of terrorist activities in Punjab.”
Senior lawyer and ASG Chetan Mittal told ET: “This unprecedented initiative by the central government resulting in sharing of crucial information will go a long way in tackling drug smuggling and terrorism.”
The report says some women in border areas are being “trained to lure” officials to make them accomplices in smuggling. One such case, where a BSF official connived with anti-India elements, was brought to the notice of BSF by IG Border range in July, after which the BSF official was dismissed, the multi-agency group was informed.
BSF has observed that drug peddlers and terrorists are found to be actively using social media platforms to communicate among themselves, as per the report. To tackle this, the report says, officials feel an inter-agency WhatsApp group can be created to share real-time information.
The report says Pak-based drug smugglers in the “guise of farmers” are trying to establish contact with innocent Indian farmers during day time while working in the fields. BSF troops apprehended two such farmers who were talking to Pak nationals and handed them over to the local police.
Security forces have zeroed in on the Gujjar community living in ‘deras’ near the border that have long been suspected to be used for “logistic purposes” by terrorists and smugglers.
Agencies have carried out fresh mapping of such deras and listed the Aadhaar cards and mobile numbers of the residents, the report says.
The report says Pakistan has beefed up security along the border since India carried out surgical strikes in PoK.
Pakistan’s Punjab police has established check posts at many places on Narowal-Shakargarh road and intensive search of vehicles is being carried out. Pakistani rangers are continuously strengthening and improving their defences near the international border, according to the report, and constructing new iron observation posts (OP).
“After constructing the OP tower, they go for a small hut under the pretext that they are making it for rest and relief of troops. Finally, they establish a post in front of the border.
After the surgical strike, they are trying to cover the huge gaps which exist in their areas by constructing new OP towers/small posts so that particular area is covered and remains under their observation.”
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