THE recovery of narcotics and weapons from a village close to the Line of Control in Rajouri points to the widening ambit of narco-terrorism through the use of drones emanating from Pakistan. After Punjab, terror groups across the border are now regularly dropping arms and drugs in Jammu and Kashmir, posing complex challenges for the security forces. Drones are difficult to detect and their easy availability gives an advantage to terror groups. Their increasing reliance on drone-drops is proven by the substantial rise in unmanned aerial vehicles being shot down. Since keeping a vigil along the entire stretch of the border is a near-impossible task, it necessitates much greater emphasis on investing in smarter methods of detecting and deploying counter-drone technologies. Banking solely on the passive approach of simply looking or listening for drone activity is not enough to tackle the threat. Technological solutions are vital.
Drone-drop is the new form of border infiltration. The success rate of the narco-terror module in evading detection could be higher, and the risk factor lower for dumping drugs inside India to earn money that is further used for terror activities. A quick shift is imperative to exploring the induction of cutting-edge drone-monitoring equipment such as advanced radars, radio frequency analysers, acoustic sensors or optical sensors. Tests of indigenous anti-drone jammers and spoofers deployed in the Jammu and Punjab sectors have shown satisfactory results. A spoofer system hijacks a drone’s communication link by sending a wrong signal. A jammer jams radio frequencies used to operate a drone, bringing it down.
Night-domination strategies have been put in place in border areas. Drones have been added to the training manual for the Border Security Force recruits. Having dedicated teams conversant with the vast array of drones and newer variants would help, along with deploying more personnel for surveillance activities. Catching hold of arms and drug handlers is as important as neutralising a drone.
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