The Punjab government's revelation that Pakistan is dropping weapons and explosives with the help of drones has hit the Border Security Forces' contention that the International Border was fortified through Operation Sudarshan. The mega-exercise conducted in July was aimed at tightening vigil along the porous border. The force was directed to strengthen their watchtower and man sentry posts more efficiently, besides organising multiple patrolling.
Sources in Punjab police have told NDTV that a large number of AK-47 assault rifles and grenades were dropped in Amritsar by drones that came from Pakistan. Eight such 'sorties' took place earlier this month and the weapons were meant for terrorists who could use them to create trouble in Jammu and Kashmir, the sources said.
The BSF has claimed that they do not have the capacity to monitor aerial movement of such low flying objects."Such UAVs are detected by radars, not by naked eye as such operations are launched at night," an officer said.
Senior BSF officer Vivek Johri is visiting Punjab on Thursday to monitor the situation and take damage-control measures. . "He will look into how, with the help of technology, we can bridge the existing gaps," said a senior officer. Mr Johri will be visiting forward areas where the aerial breaches apparently took place. On his return, he will submit a report to the Union home ministry.
The National Technical Research Organisation is conducting a sweep exercise to find out how many phones were functional along International Border at the time of drone activity. They would be submitting this report to National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
"The impregnable International Border along Punjab has been breached by Pakistan, not once, but more than half-a-dozen number of times by drones," a senior Intelligence officer told NDTV.
The Home Ministry has sought answers from all agencies on why such drone movement was not detected, he said.
"It is a collective failure of the BSF, Intelligence Bureau and the (external intelligence agency) Research and Analysis Wing. All need to work together to plug the loopholes," the official said.
After the recovery of the arms, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh had tweeted:
Recent incidents of Pakistan-origin drones dropping consignments of arms & ammunition is a new and serious dimension on Pakistan's sinister designs in aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370. Request @AmitShah ji to ensure that this drone problem is handled at the earliest.— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) September 24, 2019
Last year, the BSF had introduced smart fencing in Kathua region as a pilot project. That time, they had claimed that in the 100-km range of smart fencing, every movement would be detected whether it is aerial or underground.
Then Home Minister Rajnath Singh had claimed that they would be covering the entire International Border with smart fencing in order to stop infiltration. But more than a year on, the smart fencing is yet to be extended.