Two men have been arrested for allegedly being members of a module that used drones to smuggle narcotics and weapons into India through Pakistan-based smugglers with links to pro-Khalistan operatives, the Punjab police said in a statement on Tuesday. A quadcopter drone with mini receiver and camera support, a .32 bore revolver, an SUV, cartridges and drugs have been recovered from the accused, the police added.
The accused, identified as Lakhbir Singh and Bachittar Singh, were arrested by the Amritsar (Rural) police.
The police said the interrogation of the accused has revealed their alleged association with four other smugglers, who were lodged in the Amritsar jail.
"During investigations, Lakhbir Singh revealed that he had procured a Quadcopter Drone from Delhi about four months ago and the drone was currently at the residence of his associate Bachittar Singh at Guru Amardas Avenue, Amritsar," Punjab police chief Dinkar Singh was quoted as saying in the statement.
"...Lakhbir Singh was in close and frequent contact with four major drug smugglers of Ajnala, who are currently lodged in Amritsar Jail. A search in the prison led to the recovery of a touch smartphone from the possession of Lakhbir's associate Surjit Masih, a drug smuggler," he added.
The police said the accused, Lakhbir Singh, had established an extensive communication network with foreign smugglers and was in close and frequent contact with a notorious Pakistan-based smuggler, Chishti, who was in close contact with Pakistan-based pro-Khalistan operatives.
A case has been registered in this regard.
Drones are being increasingly used by smugglers and terrorists in Pakistan to air drop drugs and weapons inside the Indian territory. Over the last couple of years, Indian authorities have intercepted several drones used for this purpose.
The recovery of tunnels and drones along the India-Pakistan border is proof of the hostility of the neighbouring country towards India, Union minister Nityanand Rai had said earlier this month.