- The drone reportedly came as far as one kilometre into Indian territory
- BSF had earlier spotted drones flying suspiciously on the Pakistan side
- Development comes days after drones dropped arms in Tarn Taran district
A search operation was launched after a Pakistani drone was spotted entering Indian territory through the Hussainiwala border in Punjab's Ferozepur district on Monday night. The development gains significance in view of reports of heavy-duty unmanned aerial vehicles dropping a large number of AK-47 assault rifles, satellite phones and grenades in the state's Tarn Taran district a few weeks ago.
"On Monday night, Border Security Force (BSF) personnel at the Hussainiwala border post in Ferozepur spotted a drone entering Indian territory from the Pakistan side. A search operation was launched after BSF alerted the Punjab police. The local police are investigating the matter," news agency ANI quoted a source in the BSF as saying. The drone reportedly came as far as one kilometre into Indian territory, close to a border outpost, before vanishing from view around midnight.
Earlier that night, BSF personnel in the area had also seen drones flying around suspiciously on the Pakistan side of the international border on four occasions between 10 pm and 10:40 pm.
Last month, Punjab police had reported drones from Pakistan dropping a large number of AK-47 assault rifles, grenades and satellite phones in eight sorties over a period of 10 days. The drones, carrying up to 5 kg of payload, were reportedly flying fast and low to evade detection.
Officials believe that the weapons were meant for terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, which was placed under clampdown after the central government scrapped its special status under Article 370 on August 5. Pakistan had slammed the move, taking up the matter before the United Nations.
Intelligence agencies also report that Pakistan has reactivated all its terror camps along the Line of Control with Pakistan in the wake of the central move, and predict a steep rise in infiltration attempts before the onset of winter. Earlier this month, Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh had claimed that there were 200-300 terrorists operating in the state.
(With inputs from ANI)