Ahead of I-Day, MHA orders strict vigilance to prevent drone attack

Order details set of preventive measures to be taken by all district DCPs

Published - July 26, 2021 02:52 am IST - NEW DELHI

After a recent drone attack in Jammu and several other instances of drones entering prohibited zones, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) instructed all security agencies to be extra vigilant about such flying objects ahead of Independence Day celebrations.

The MHA has ordered stricter adherence to the Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) that was framed to handle threats from Sub-Conventional Aerial Platforms like drones, paragliders, microlight aircraft, hot-air balloons etc. The order details a set of preventive measures to be taken by all district DCPs, precautions while shooting down any Sub-Conventional Aerial Platforms and if the flying object try to land near the rampart of Red Fort.

“We have identified the buildings near Red Fort where policemen with long-range weapons will be deployed to shoot down any flying object approaching restricted space,” said a police officer.

The SoP mentioned shooting the object if it tries to go near the sensitive area. It reads that if any object approaches the sensitive area, then wave a red flag to draw its attention and indicate it to land at a safe distance away from the vital installation or sensitive area. Shout on the loud hailer to draw its attention and instruct it to land immediately, falling which it will be shot down. The order states that if it does not follow the instructions, and there is no time to seek instructions from superior officers or seek clarification from the Indian Air Force agencies, the security personnel may shoot at it with the intention to de-capacitate the individual/aerial vehicle.

In the SoP, DCP of North District — under whose jurisdiction Red Fort falls — may identify building’s rooftops from where the entire aerial view of the district can be seen. Watchers should be deployed on these rooftops.

Trained manpower on rooftops around the sensitive locations and on the route of VVIP movements to prevent anybody from taking off from such platforms, read the order.

These personnel shall be equipped with wireless sets, binoculars, red flag mounted on a stick and a loud hailer.

“Each identified roof-top watcher should be accompanied by well-trained police marksmen equipped with a long-range weapon to bring down the flying object, if required,” it reads. The other district DCPs have been instructed for special patrolling particularly in the rural areas of Delhi, long stretches of lesser-used roads and bridges, large grounds to keep a watch on any such attempts of flying Para Motors.

IAF is responsible to identify between ‘Friendly’ and ‘Unknown’ airborne objects and initiate appropriate ‘Tactical Action’ to destroy the object, if it is declared ‘Hostile’, the SOP reads.

It instructs district DCPs to activate human intelligence as it is the most reliable way to prevent such an attack. Beat constables should be trained to deal with such objects when they see it in the air or near vital installations/sensitive areas.

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