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Weeks After Punjab Confirmed 8 Sorties, Another Drone Enters From Pakistan; Forces on High Alert

The development comes just weeks after Punjab police said a large number of AK-47 assault rifles, satellite phones and grenades were dropped in Punjab's Tarn Taran district by heavy-lifting drones that came from Pakistan.

News18.com

Updated:October 8, 2019, 4:53 PM IST
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Weeks After Punjab Confirmed 8 Sorties, Another Drone Enters From Pakistan; Forces on High Alert
Representative image.

New Delhi: Weeks after Punjab forces confirmed drone sorties, security forces went into a tizzy in Punjab’s Hussainiwala sector after a drone was spotted entering the Indian side from Pakistan.

The drone was sighted between 10 and 10.40pm on Monday night, sources told News18. “The high-flying drone type object was seen 5 times (four times within Pakistan side) and once entering the Indian side up to about one kilometer.”

Sources said BSF jawans immediately conveyed the information to their seniors who then contacted the Punjab Police. A joint search operation was then launched, which is currently underway.

The development comes just weeks after Punjab police said a large number of AK-47 assault rifles, satellite phones and grenades were dropped in Punjab's Tarn Taran district by heavy-lifting drones that came from Pakistan.

Sources told News 18 that the consignment was sent by Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to carry out an attack of 26/11 magnitude in religious places in Punjab. The drones used for this task were fitted with high-end technology and GPS. The sources added that 8 drones are likely to have been used to drop the arms and ammunition in Punjab.

They carried out at least eight 'sorties' for 10 days in September before dropping the weapons to the designated place, Punjab Police officials said. Preliminary investigation reveals that Pakistan-backed Khalistan Zinadabad Force (KZF) may have used Chinese made drones with the capacity to carry heavy payload to drop AK 47 rifles, ammunition, satellite phones and fake currency in Taran Taran.

On Sunday, five AK-47 rifles and hand grenades were recovered from Rajoke village near Khalra in Tarn Taran as Punjab Police busted a terror module of the KZF, backed by a group based in Pakistan and Germany. The police said the terror group was conspiring to unleash a series of strikes in Punjab and adjoining states.

Sources in the security grid said these drones are commonly used in big farms of Punjab to spray pesticides and fertilisers in crops. "These are not very sophisticated but the advantage with such drones that they can carry a heavy payload," an official said.

The recovery of huge cache of arms has put security agencies on high alert to thwart what appear to be attempts to orchestrate terror attacks on security installation in the country.

Police officials, on the condition of anonymity, said that after four to five sorties, a drone crashed due to a technical problem. This crashed drone was being destroyed by operatives on the Indian side when state police got the whiff and arrested one Shubdeep from the village. The information thus obtained led to the recovery of arms and ammunition, including some satellite phones which agencies suspect were to be used to communicate with Pakistani handlers.

Four more members of the terror module were arrested from the outskirts of Chohla Sahib village on Sunday. Five AK-47 rifles, 16 magazines and 472 rounds of ammunition, four Chinese-made .30 bore pistols, along with eight magazines and 72 rounds of ammunition; nine hand grenades, five satellite phones with their ancillary equipment, two mobile phones, two wireless sets and fake currency with the face value of Rs 10 lakh were seized.

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