Pak involvement in drone attack at IAF Stn cannot be ruled out; says J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh


Police arrest two associates of Lashkar operative who was held with IED near a shopping mall.

Kathua Distt Magistrate imposes restrictions on flying of drones

By Bunty Mahajan

Jammu: While “strongly and seriously suspecting’’ the involvement of Lashkar-e-Toiba into the drone attack at IAF facility in Jammu during wee hours of Sunday, Director General of J&K Police Dilbagh Singh on Friday said that the involvement of Pakistan into the matter can also be not ruled out.

Since the “LeT operates from Pakistan, in a way Pakistan’s involvement in the case cannot be ruled out,’’ he said. “The question to what extent Pakistan agencies are involved would be answered when investigations proceed further,’’ he said while talking to reporters after the attestation-cum-passing-out parade of the 27th Basic Recruitment Training Course (BRTC) in Kathua district.

In support of it, he said that the morning drones dropped bombs at the IAF Station, LeT had planned to plant an IED at some crowded place the same evening so as to cause largest possible causalities in the area. The IED was sent by LeT in the similar fashion from Pakistan, he said, adding the police, however. apprehended the “fellow’’ (Lashkar operative) who was going to plant the IED.

The Lashkar operative has been identified as Nadeem of Banihal. At his disclosures, police have arrested two more people identified as Nadeem Rather of Shopian and Talib of Banihal, both in the age group of 20-22 years. Their questioning is in progress, sources said.

Earlier also, there have been over a dozen incidents of weapons and readymade IEDs dropping through drones by the LeT, UT Police chief said, adding that the drones which attacked the IAF Station are likely to have come from Pakistan. The earlier drone droppings which have taken place, they were covering a distance of 10 to 14-15 kms, he pointed out, adding the IAF station is also within that distance. “It is very possible that it has come from across, but other angles would also be not ruled out,’’ DGP said.

To a question, he said that the use of drone by terrorist outfits in carrying out attacks pose a “very serious threat’’ to security systems that are there. Under the international protocol this kind of activity is not supposed to be taking place, but if it has started and some terrorists are involved into it, it poses a serious threat, he said. “We have to relook at the security of vital places and the vital persons because the threat does not respect the parameter security,’’ he added. 

Meanwhile, Kathua District Magistrate Rahul Yadav imposed restrictions on the us.e of drones in the area, saying that all those operating drones in the district shall register them with the Assistant Commissioner (Revenue) or the Sub Divisional Magistrate, who will issue them a unique identification number and maintain proper register in this regard.

Pointing out that drone pilots must maintain a direct visual line of sight at all times while flying, the order said that no drone shall be flown more than 400 ft vertically.

No drone shall be flown in areas near the airorts, international borders/LoC, secretariat complex, strategic locations, vital and military installations, it added.

It further ordered that no micro drone (250 grams – 2 kg) shall fly beyond 60 meters above ground level, or a speed of 25 meters per second.

No small drone (2 kg – 25 kg) shall fly beyond a height of 120 mts AGL, or a maximum speed of 25 mts per second.

The medium drone (25 kgs – 150 kg) or large drone (above 150 kg) shall fly in accordance with the conditions mentioned in the operator permit issued by the ACR/SDM, it said.

The order imposed ban on the flying of drones after sunset or before sun rise, saying that in case of any exigency, prior permission of the DM/ADM shall be obtained.