NEW DELHI: The Border Security Force shot down 81 drones in Punjab and nine in Rajasthan in over a year, though Pakistan Rangers always deny use of its territory for sending drones into India, BSF director general Nitin Agarwal has said.

Drones carry narcotics, arms and improvised explosive devices, Agarwal said in Hazaribagh on Thursday during the annual news conference on the eve of BSF raising day.

Punjab has a 553 km border with Pakistan and smuggling of narcotics through the land border from Pakistan has been a cause of major concern. The National Investigation Agency is probing the nexus between narcotic smugglers and gangsters. The number of drone sightings on the India-Pakistan border has increased to 300, compared to 268 in 2022, 109 in 2021, 49 in 2020 and 35 in 2019, all within a range of 2-10 km on the border. BSF guards the international border with Pakistan in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

"We have seized about 1,000 kg of heroin from along the eastern (India-Bangladesh) and western front (India-Pak border) over the last year. BSF has also deployed a hand-held static and vehicle-mounted anti-drone system to counter increasing threat of drones on the Indo-Pak border," the DG said.

"The drones that we shoot down and seize are largely made in China and mostly Chinese DJI," he said.