Jammu: Ahead of the annual Amarnath pilgrimage, police on Sunday shot down a Pakistani drone carrying seven magnetic bombs and as many UBGL grenades in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, a senior police officer said.
Additional Director General of Police, Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh said the drone was shot down by a police party in Talli Hariya Chak area of Rajbagh shortly after it crossed over to the Indian side from across the International Border.
This is the third Pakistani drone with a payload of arms and ammunition being shot down by the forces in Jammu sector since June 2020.
Singh said a police search party picked up the movement of the drone in the morning and fired at it. The bomb disposal squad, called to inspect its payload, found seven magnetic bombs and an equal number of grenades compatible with Under Barrel Grenade Launchers (UBGL) attached to it.
He said police search parties were being regularly sent to the area because of the frequent drone activity from across the border.
“The police party noticed a hexacopter drone and shot it down. Experts are on their way from Jammu to decipher the writing on the two batteries of the drone which we believe is Chinese (language),”
Senior Superintendent of Police, Kathua, Ramesh Kotwal told reporters at the scene.
He said over the past six to eight months, the police contingents have been carrying out early morning anti-tunnelling, anti-drone and border sanitisation activities as part of heightened security arrangements, especially in view of the upcoming Amarnath Yatra.
The SSP requested the border residents to immediately bring to the notice of the police any suspicious object or movement to ensure the overall security of the region.
The 43-day-long Amarnath Yatra is scheduled to begin on June 30 on two routes — the traditional 48-km course through Nunwan in south Kashmir’s Pahalgam and the 14-km route through central Kashmir’s Ganderbal.
The police have termed the recovery of magnetic bombs or sticky bombs a major challenge during this year’s annual yatra to the 3,880-metre-high holy cave shrine.
In a first-of-its-kind seizure in February last year, the Border Security Force had recovered a drone-dropped consignment of 14 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) with in-built magnets along the International border in Samba district.
The in-built magnets could be used as “sticky bombs” by sticking them on vehicles and controlling them using a timer and a remotely-held device.
On April 28, the security forces had detected such an IED on Sidhra bypass in the outskirts of Jammu.
Four IEDs fitted with sticky bombs were recovered in Poonch district in August and September, last year.
On June 20, 2020, the BSF had shot down the first Pakistani Hexa-copter drone with a payload of five-and-a-half kilograms, including a sophisticated US-made M4 semi-automatic carbine and seven Chinese grenades at Border Outpost Pansar in Kathua district.
On July 23, 2021, the police had brought down a drone carrying five kilograms of IED along the International Border in Kanhachak area in the outskirts of Jammu.
The security forces had also recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition besides high grade narcotics airdropped by drones from Pakistan over the past couple of years.