Suspected militants Umar Ahmed Malik and Suhail Ahmed Malik in J&K police custody

Jammu and Kashmir Police has arrested two men after they were caught red-handed collecting a heavy cache of arms and ammunitions from a spot along the India-Pakistan International Border. The arrests were made on Sunday from Vijaypur in J&K's Samba district.

Sources tell India Today that the arms and ammunition were smuggled from the other side of the border with the help of drones. Similar instances have been reported in the recent past when Pakistan-based outfits have been caught dropping arms and even narcotics on the Indian side of the border using drones and tunnels.

The most recent case is now being investigated by the Ramban Police. Officials familiar with the case believe that the consignment of arms was dropped two days prior to the arrests on Monday. They further suspect that five sorties were made in a single phase to drop the arms consignment on the Indian side

According to the J&K Police, 2 AK-74 rifles, a pistol, 16 grenades, 9 AK magazines, 269 live bullets (pistol) and 2 live rifle magazines were seized as a result of the arrest.

The two individuals arrested while they were trying to retrieve the arms are suspected to be militants. If they would have been able to collect the arms undetected, they would formally join the ranks of a militant outfit, a senior J&K Police official said.

An initial probe has revealed that suspected terror operatives Umar Ahmed Malik and Suhail Ahmed Malik were working to fulfil a terror plot hatched by Kashmir-based militants and their handlers in Pakistan. Residents of Semthan and Bijbehara in J&K's Anantnag district, Umar and Suhail travelled from their homes to the International Border at the instruction of their suspected handler Aqib alias Alfa from Budgam, a known operative of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Over the past year, security forces have unearthed three tunnels under the Indo-Pak border while intercepting five such 'arms drops' by drones along the LoC. A total of 14 sorties were conducted to get these consignments across the border, suspect officials. On at least two other instances, security forces were informed about weapons being smuggled into India from across the border in Rajouri and Samba districts of J&K.

In October of last year, the Indian Army shot down a Pakistan Army quadcopter along the Line of Control (LoC) in J&K's Keran sector. Equipped with cameras, the China-made DJI Mavic 2 Pro model drone was hovering in the air when it was spotted by security personnel.

Similarly, the Border Security Force (BSF) shot down a Hexa-copter in J&K's Kathua district in June of last year. The drone was found carrying M4 semi-automatic carbine and Chinese grenades.