The announcement comes days after the Jammu Air Base was attacked last month, on June 27, where explosions were caused using drones. The incident had left two Indian Air Force personnel with injuries. The incident triggered worries among India’s security agencies as the airport where the explosion took place, around 14 km from the border with Pakistan.
The attack took place around 2 am. Sources revealed that drones have since been repeatedly spotted hovering over military installations in the region and over 250 drones have been sighted along the border with Pakistan since 2019.
Noting that smuggling of drugs, arms, and explosives through tunnels and drones is a major challenge, Shah said it is very important for us to deal with these challenges at the earliest.
“DRDO is working to develop anti-drone ‘swadeshi’ (indigenous) technology to get over this new danger. We have given all support to anti-drone research and development projects. I am confident that we will soon improve anti-drone technology,” Shah said while addressing the 18th Border Security Force (BSF) Investiture Ceremony.
Shah, recognising how artificial intelligence can be put to use by groups across the borders to target India, assured the country is working on developing such AI technologies that will soon defeat such drone attacks.
The Home minister reminded top security officers at the investiture ceremony that it is their responsibility to find new technology with the help of experts to help India deal with the threat of the use of AI and robotics technology by enemies and terrorists.
Intelligence Bureau chief Arvinda Kumar, Research and Analysis Wing head Samant Goel, BSF Director General Rakesh Asthana and heads of other central police forces attended the ceremony. Shah made it clear that “India wants peace but security policy is clear to give an answer in the same language as the enemy understands”. There have been reports over the past two years of Pakistan using drones to drop weapons across the border.
The first incident took place in August 2019 in Punjab when a crashed drone was found in a village in Amritsar. In September, terrorists arrested by security forces allegedly revealed that drugs and weapons were dropped in Punjab in eight drone sorties.
On June 20 last year, the BSF shot down a suspected spy drone in the Kathua district of Jammu. The very next month, a network of tunnels from across the border was revealed in Jammu.
In September, the Jammu and Kashmir police found weapons dropped from drones at a village in Akhnoor, also in Jammu. Three militants who had received weapons through such drops were arrested.
“I have complete faith in our paramilitary forces. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we have an independent defence policy, which warned those challenging our sovereignty of response in the same language.”
Shah while paying tribute to the BSF and other paramilitary forces, said “I salute those who have made supreme sacrifice. India is strengthening its position on the world map. These brave hearts and warriors cannot be forgotten. India has a place of pride on the world map due to BSF and our paramilitary forces who are protecting our borders.”
According to a statement issued by the BSF, 27 BSF personnel are being awarded including 14 police medals for gallantry and 13 police medals for meritorious services.
Published : July 18, 2021
By : The Statesman / ANN