By Bunty Mahajan
Jammu: To carry out terror activities in Jammu division, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists in connivance with Pakistan’s ISI have set up a Drone control room in Shakkargarh area across the international border.
Pakistan’s Shakkargarh area across the IB falls opposite Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to sources, terror outfits in connivance with ISI have been operating cross border drone flights to various parts of Jammu division from control room established in the area.
Named as Shakargarh Brigade across the border, it is taking the help of trained engineers and technicians in the matter including assembly of drones with spare parts made in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. A Brigadier level Pakistan Army officer is reportedly holding command of this Shakkargarh Brigade, sources said.
If sources are to be believed, the head of this control room had recently felicitated those who carried out drone attack at the Indian Air Force Station in Jammu last month. Since then, drone sightings over Jammu and nearby areas has become almost a regular feature.
This Shakkargarh Brigade, sources said have now spread its activities along the Line of Control as some arms and ammunition dropped through drone were recently seized in Rajouri district also.
On Friday early morning, Jammu and Kashmir Police had shot a drone carrying a 5 kg IED in Gurah Pattan area near Akhnoor. It was the second drone shot down by police in Jammu division since last year as it had brought down one in Kathua distict in September last.
Last month, army had fired on a flying object seen hovering over the Kaluchak, Ratnuchak military stations. Drones were also spotted trying to enter the Indian side from across the international border in Arnia sector on two separate occasions. However, both times, alert BSF personnel opened fire making them to fly back to the Pakistan side.
The drone can cover a distance upto 20 kms from the border and its range decreases with the increase in the weight of its payloads. “Earlier, we have seized AK47s dropped by drones in the range of 12-13 kms from the border,’’ Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Singh had told media persons on Friday.
During the last one and a half year, police have seized a large number of arms, ammunition and explosives that have been dropped through drone sorties. These include 16 AK 47 rifles, three M4 US made rifles, 34 pistols, 15 grenades and 18 IEDs including three big ones.
The Border Security Force on Saturday lodged a “very strong protest’’ with Pakistani Rangers over drone activity in Jammu division. The protest was lodged at a Sector Commander level meeting held between two sides along the International Border in Jammu’s Suchetgarh sector.