The Rajouri district administration in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday banned the sale or possession of drones and flying objects, The Hindu reported.
In a terror attack early on Sunday, two low-intensity explosions left two Indian Air Force personnel injured in the technical area of Jammu Air Force Station. Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbagh Singh suspected that drones were used to drop explosive material. But, the Indian Air Force has not confirmed this. The National Investigation Agency has taken over the probe in this case.
On Monday, the Indian Army claimed that two separate “drone activities” were spotted over the Ratnuchak-Kaluchak military area in Jammu at midnight. After this, drones were spotted at three places on the outskirts of Jammu city on Tuesday night and in the early hours of Wednesday, The Indian Express reported, citing sources.
In an order, Deputy Commissioner Rajesh Kumar Savan directed all those who possess unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, in Rajouri district to deposit them at the local police station. “In exercise of powers vested to me under Section 144 of the CrPC [Code of Criminal Procedure], a ban is imposed on storage, sale, possession, use and transport of any drone or small flying objects, toys in the district,” the order said.
It added that “anti-national elements” are using drones to cause damage in the Union Territory, Kashmir News Service reported. Savan warned of action against those who violate the order.
Rajouri is close to the Line of Control in the Pir Panjal valley and the police suspect Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba was involved in Sunday’s attack.
Lieutenant General DP Pandey, Corps Commander of the 15 Corps in Srinagar, told NDTV that drone threats may continue in future. “We are well aware that these assets and tech – drone warfare, for example – cannot just be made on the roadside,” he added. “These indicate state-supported systems and technology... and state supported, or state sponsored, technology definitely indicates Jaish and Lashkar.”
Pandey said the Armed forces are exploring options to address all national security challenges. “Every time there is stability in the Kashmir Valley, or the Jammu and Kashmir region, as we have seen recently, there will always be the introduction of new systems or actors to counter this... and the next level in this is greater deniability – an attempt to say this is possibly internal,” he said. “But we know where the idea is coming from...where the support mechanisms and technology are coming from.”