Over a dozen attempts to smuggle in arms or contraband through drones have been reported in the border villages of Punjab ever since the outbreak of the farmers’ agitation. This has fuelled suspicion that the Khalistan terror modules backed by the ISI are trying to foment law and order disturbances during the ongoing stir.
The Punjab Intelligence wing has issued advisories to the police officials in the border districts informing about further attempts to push in arms through drones in the State. The Border Security Force (BSF) has also intensified its vigil along the International Border (IB) along Punjab to track down drone incursions.
In January alone at least five drone sorties carrying arms were made from across the border by terror modules in Kot Razada border village in the Ajnala sector.
The first attempt to push in arms through drones was made on the intervening night of November 30 and December 1 last year, just a week after the farmers started their agitation.
The BSF jawans on hearing the buzzing sounds of drones in the area had fired indiscriminately to shoot it down, but they returned to Pakistan.
Similar drone sorties were made subsequently including an attempt to push in 80-kg weapons through Tarn Taran. The cache of arms that was flown in through GPRS fitted drones were later seized from a Tarn Taran village.
Security officials said that the ISI was using drones of different makers to try and smuggle the weapons. “Apart from a Quadcopter, these terror modules were also using Hexacopter. In recent days, drones of these makes have also been recovered from terror associates involved with Khalistan groups and also ISI,” said a security official.
What have multiplied the fears are the recent gatherings of farmers which have witnessed extremist elements in attendance. Intelligence sources pointed out that at a rally in Mehraj on Tuesday, organised by gangster-turned –activist Lakha Sidhana, security officials had kept under surveillance several members of banned radical groups.
“It was a huge gathering and some radical elements were present in which a call was given to defy law and order agencies. It’s a challenge to maintain the surveillance given that all out attempts are being made from across the border to create trouble under guise of the farmers’ agitation,” said an Intelligence official.