The Border Security Force (BSF) has introduced an anti-drone technology after drone sightings increased four times along the International border in Punjab in the last two years

BSF IG Sonali Mishra told the media in Jalandhar that in comparison to 12 drone sightings in 2019 and 32 last year, it has been already 45 so far this year. “The drones have become so advanced that they now fly higher and thus are difficult to spot and be heard. Most drones coming in the Indian territory have their blinkers covered. These now are equipped with advanced software, exactly reach the target site and are programmed to return,” he said.

The IG said that the government was already working on counter-drone technologies and conducting trials to develop radars that can help identify and detect small drones.

“Practically, we can only hear a mild humming sound if drones are flying at a height of 250-300 meters and beyond that, it is quite unlikely to detect them,” she said, adding that the drones had penetrated up to 6 km in Punjab area in recent past.

Besides, instances of drones carrying and dropping weapons weighing upto 10 kg were also now known, she said.

Mishra also admitted to the BSF having missed one or two drones on earlier occasions.

On the contentious jurisdictional row after the limit of BSF jurisdiction was increased from 15 to 50 km, Mishra clarified that the role of the BSF would only be complementary and to assist the state police since the force itself did not have any policing powers.

She further added that in light of newer challenges that were emerging from the Western theatre and the political developments from Afghanistan, it was important to extend the limit of the force guarding 553 km of Indo-Pak border.

“While earlier, when our forces got to know of anything happening even up to 16-17 km, we could only get it stopped and wait for the state police officials to arrive. But with the jurisdiction getting extended, the reaction time will be quick and there will be no lapse. We have 24×7 domination plans to rush to the site. Ultimately, we will only be helping the state police. The BSF has no policing powers, as it does not have powers to register FIR nor to carry out investigations,” she clarified.