The Border Security Force (BSF) has given a list of 75 individuals suspected of involvement in drug trafficking to the Punjab Police.
On the challenge of controlling the smuggling of drugs and weapons using drones from Pakistan into Punjab and certain areas of Jammu & Rajasthan, Special DG BSF Western Command Yogesh Bahadur Khurania said the BSF is preparing itself and working on new-age equipment to detect the presence of such drones.
“In 2023, we have seized 95 drones. Most of them are from Punjab and a few in the Sri Ganganagar area in Rajasthan. Detection of the presence of drones is mostly through visible means by BSF personnel on the border. We are working on technology to detect drones in the air,” Yogesh Bahadur Khurania said, speaking at a press conference in Chandigarh on December 11.
“In recent years, drones have been used to smuggle drugs. Technical expertise is also being used to control this menace. Personnel deployed on the ground are being trained to deal with it in cooperation with law enforcement agencies,” he said.
Yogesh Bahadur Khurania added that the BSF and other law enforcement agencies, like the State police and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), have prepared a database of suspected drug smugglers in border areas and the hinterland.
“We have prepared a database of persons involved in drug smuggling, including persons in jail and out on bail. We are working along with the Police not only to bring down these drones but also investigating their source, how they came, and who are involved in it,” Yogesh Bahadur Khurania said. The Special DG said that many people have been interrogated, and the BSF has had good results from them.
“Earlier, the BSF was only deployed at the border, and since it was seen that the drones were going 5-6 km deep, the BSF has now been deployed in the hinterland as well,” he said.
Speaking on the extension of the area of operation in Punjab from 15 to 50 km, the Special DG said it has had good results.
“Drones have now neutralised border fencing. We have to protect not only the fence but also the hinterland from drones bringing in drugs. We have had very good results, and we are getting support from Punjab Police,” he said.
The Special DG said that the BSF, in coordination with the Punjab Police, has put up CCTV cameras 5-6 km inside the Indo-Pak border around key roads to monitor the activities of those who come and go on them. Yogesh Bahadur Khurania said that by March 31, 2024, many CCTVs will be in place.
(with inputs from ANI)