A drone was spotted 100-150 metres inside Indian territory in the Arnia sector of Jammu and Kashmir late on Tuesday night. The UAV, or unmanned aerial vehicle, was spotted by alert BSF personnel who opened fire, after which the drone disappeared for a while before returning.
The BSF believes the drone, seen near the village of Sai that lies along the international border in this area, was either tasked with spying or dropping arms and ammunition.
A senior official told NDTV that UAVs were Pakistan’s new “watch towers” and were being used in abundance. The official also said it was at a height of 200 metres and well within Indian territory.
“When our alert troops fired it went back,” the official said, adding, “Troops are on alert. The area is being searched but, so far, nothing has been detected.”
This is the sixth sighting of an UAV, or unmanned aerial vehicle, in this area in the past 15 days.
Last month a drone strike on a military facility at Jammu Airport caused damage to the roof a building in the technical section and minor injuries to two Air Force personnel.
The terror attack on Jammu Airport – which is a dual-use facility under IAF control – has led to alerts being sounded across J&K and Ladakh, the official further told NDTV.
Tuesday night’s drone spotting comes as the NIA, or National Investigation Agency, which is probing the Jammu Airport attack, is leaning towards state actors being involved. Forensic reports indicate that RDX – an explosive – was used for bombing the area, an official linked with the NIA’s probe, told NDTV.
According to him, the drones returned to a neighbouring country after dropping their payload.
“It was night time, so nothing was (clearly) visible in the CCTV cameras… although some recorded statements suggest there were buzzing sounds,” he said.
Last month Lt General DP Pandey, Corps Commander of the 15 Corps in Srinagar, told NDTV the tech used in that attack indicated “state-support” and involvement of Pak-based Jaish and Lashkar.
In a related development, both the NSG (National Security Guard) and the Army are doing trial runs and tests of equipment to be used to counter drone threats. A senior government functionary said the Army has been “amping up its arsenal to acquire AI-equipped drones”.