Pakistani drones drop arms in Punjab as jihadis infiltrate J&K
25 September 2019
There has been surge in incidents of Pakistan-origin drones delivering weapons and communication devices into Punjab following the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370, chief minister Amarinder Singh informed union home minister Amit Shah, requesting urgent action.
Reports said Pak-based terror groups have air-dropped 80 kg of weapons, in at least eight drone sorties, to fuel attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. The entire consignment, using the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) network, was supported by Pakistan’s spy agency Inter Services Intelligence and orchestrated through Germany and Lahore.
Singh further alleged that the drone incidents were just one of Pakistan's 'sinister designs'.
Pakistan, which has already started pushing in trained jihadi elements into Kashmir, is trying to open another front against India by trying to whip up Khalistan frenzy that has died down long ago.
The CM’s warning comes two days after the Punjab Police, on Sunday, busted a terror modules of the Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF), backed by a group based in Pakistan and Germany.
Given the international links and ramifications of the conspiracy, Singh had decided to hand over all further investigation to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Police said the terror group was conspiring to unleash a series of strikes in Punjab and adjoining states. A huge cache of arms, including five AK-47 rifles, pistols, satellite phones and hand grenades, was seized from them.
Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said four members of the module were arrested from the outskirts of Chohla Sahib village in Tarn Taran district of Punjab on Sunday. "They were using a white coloured Maruti Swift car bearing a Punjab registration number," Gupta said.
Interrogation of the arrested has revealed that KZF’s Germany-based operative Gurmeet Singh Bagga in coordination with his Pakistan-based chief Ranjeet Singh aka Neeta have made deliveries of at least four weapons, grenades, electronics, and fake currency through drones. The deliveries were made on the intervening nights of September 6/7, 9/10 and the last one on 15/16. The last drone crashed at Rajoke Village, Khalra police station, in Tarn Taran, near a border drain which is 2km from the fencing on the international border with Pakistan.
Investigations prima facie found that multiple Chinese commercial drones with 10 kg payloads were used in the weapons drop operations across the border.
Punjab police have asked the IAF and BSF to intercept these unmanned aerial vehicles through low-level radars and destroy them. Officials fear that they could also be used to carry and drop off bombs.
The entire operation came to light after the discovery of the burnt drone, whose eight Chinese batteries were stripped off by the accused on instructions from across the border. “It has also been revealed that such deliveries took place on four different dates, mostly between 9.30 pm and 10.30 pm with the drone making two sorties within an hour,” said a senior Punjab Police official.
As many as five AK-47 rifles, which weigh about four kilograms with magazine, four Chinese pistols, nine HE grenades, Rs10 lakh fake currency, 1,000 rounds of ammunition and two electronic receivers were recovered by the police from the accused.
Meanwhile, intelligence agency inputs suggested that around 60 trained militants have infiltrated from Pakistan into Jammu and Kashmir over the past two months.
There is a high possibility of three to four infiltration attempts within this week mostly along the Line of Control in north Kashmir — Keran, Uri and adjoining sectors, the inputs indicate.
Army and Border Security Force (BSF) camps in the Jammu region and all forwards posts have been placed on high alert due to the impending festival season that starts with Navaratras (from 29 September) and ends two weeks after Diwali (27 October).
Over the past two months, infiltrations have taken place on both sides of the Pir Panjal mountain range that segregates the Valley from the Poonch-Jammu region, sources said.
Initial estimates of infiltrations were lower, however, the multi-agency centre (MAC), which collates data and inputs from human intelligence, radio intercepts and other sources, has arrived at a figure of 60 infiltrations over the past two months.
Sources say the number of these infiltrations indicates a major terror attack is being planned and the target could be on the Indian side along the 198 km line of control in J&K. This runs south of the river Chenab River to the border of the state with Punjab at Madhopur.
Indian estimates say there are around 450-500 terrorists in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Off these, 250 are stationed at launch pads as well as camps along the LoC.