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Use of animals to sense entry of cross border drones under experimental phase: BSF DG

Hazaribagh (Jharkhand): If all goes well, the BSF will soon come up with a specific technique to sense the entry of cross-border drones into Indian territory with the help of animals.

Speaking to ANI on Thursday, BSF Director General Nitin Agrawal weighed in on the new move which he said is in the "experimental phase".

Speaking on the seizure of drones from the border areas on the sidelines of the annual press conference held in Hazaribagh a day ago to the force's 59th Raising Day event, Agarwal said, "We are using some equipment because of which we are able to bring drones down... We are being extra alert regarding this. Firing is done as soon as a drone is spotted... We are also training animals regarding this... The animals would be able to sense the incoming drones... It is still in the experimental stage... More information would be out soon..."

From November 2022 to October 31, 2023, the BSF chief said a total of 90 drones have been recovered by the BSF on Western Border. Of these, 81 have been recovered from Punjab and nine from Rajasthan, he informed.

To counter the increasing threat of drones on the India-Pakistan border, the DG said the BSF has presently deployed some hand-held static and vehicle-mounted anti-drone systems.

Besides, registration of farmers having land ahead of fencing in the Punjab border on biometric machines on a few gates and replacing border flood lights with LED lights are among other initiatives taken so far on the India-Pakistan border.

In a record achievement ever noted, the BSF said it recovered 69 Pakistani drones that entered Indian territory in the last 10 months of this year, foiling attempts of smugglers to smuggle narcotics, data collated by the border guarding force reveals.

The data revealed further that the majority of these drones are "Made in China", and of Quadcopter designs, which have four rotors, in different models.

According to data, a total of 69 such drones were seized by the BSF between January 1 to October 31 this year on the Western Border of India running through Punjab, Rajasthan and Jammu frontiers.

Of these 69 drones, 60 were seized from the Punjab frontier and nine from the Rajasthan frontier.

A maximum of 21 drones were seized in October alone -- 19 from Punjab and two from Rajasthan frontier. However,

11 drones were seized in June, seven in May, six each in February, July, and September, five in August, three each in March and April, and one in January.

The data showed further that there was no drone recovery from the Rajasthan frontier in January, March, April, and May.

From January 1, 2020, to October 31 this year, a total of 93 drones were seized by the BSF. Of these, only one drone was seized from the Jammu frontier in June 2020 and one in December 2021.

However, drone recoveries suddenly increased manifold in 2022, with the finding of 22 from the Punjab frontier. Of those 22 drones, seven were seized in December, five in November, three in October, two in March, and one each in January, February, April, May and June.

A few of these drones were shot down by the BSF personnel deployed on the 3,323 km India-Pakistan border. These recoveries were made in close coordination with state police following a tip-off.

Smugglers in Pakistan, send these drones carrying small amounts of contraband -- mostly heroin--from 500 grams to 1 kg -- across the border through the International Border, flying them by night, a BSF officer told the ANI.

"As per the laid-down drill, BSF troops immediately react based on inputs and launch
search operations in fields ahead of Border fencing to recover the drones," the officer added.

As per the data, Pakistani smugglers especially chose India's Punjab frontier to smuggle narcotics using drones and the recoveries of these Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) were made from Tarn Taran, Amritsar, Ferozpur, Gurdaspur, and Abohar districts. (ANI)

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