LeT could be behind drone attack in Jammu, says DGP

Drone fired at: BSF; 5 LeT militants, soldier killed in encounter.

July 02, 2021 10:10 am | Updated November 22, 2021 10:10 pm IST - Jammu

National Investigation Agency (NIA) officers leaving the IAF station after investigating Sunday's drone attack incident, in Jammu, Thursday, July 1, 2021.

National Investigation Agency (NIA) officers leaving the IAF station after investigating Sunday's drone attack incident, in Jammu, Thursday, July 1, 2021.

Security agencies suspected the role of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in the twin drone-driven blasts on the Indian Air Force’s technical airport in Jammu on June 27 and the possibility of it coming from across the border, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said on Friday.

“The investigation [into the airbase blasts] is in progress. We haven’t reached any conclusion as to who is actually involved. However, on the basis of the past history of the LeT using drones to drop weapons, narcotics and ready-made improvised explosive devices (IED), we suspect the outfit is involved,” Mr. Singh stated in Jammu.

Also read: Drones favoured tool of Pakistan-based terror outfits

Meanwhile, five LeT militants and a soldier were killed in an anti-militancy operation in south Kashmir’s Pulwama, while an unmanned aerial vehicle was spotted and fired at on the International Border (IB) in Jammu’s Arnia sector on Friday.

Mr. Singh noted that the security agencies had a suspicion that drones came from across on June 27. “But the second aspect [of being launched locally] can’t be ignored.” Over a dozen dropping of weapons had been carried out by the LeT, using drones on the border, and many have been recovered by the security agencies.

Read: Editorial | Flying terror

‘Countermeasures taken’

“Drones are being used by anti-national elements and terrorists. It poses a threat. We have taken some countermeasures. More measures will be taken. In fact, new technology has also been deployed to ward off such attacks,” he observed.

On the day of the twin attacks, he said, the police arrested a person, who was tasked to carry out an IED attack at a public place to inflict maximum casualties.

“We have captured a module, which was delivered an IED from across [the border]. It was sent by LeT handlers from the other side. One person is being interrogated. It was an RDX-fitted one and fabricated to fit on a drone. We are investigating if the two incidents are linked. We are stepping up our operations against terrorists,” he added.

Drone fired at: BSF

The Border Security Force (BSF) on Friday said it spotted, intercepted and fired at an aerial surveillance gadget from Pakistan on the IB.

Also read: Small civilian drones pose significant threat, say officials

“Alert BSF troops fired at a quadcopter belonging to Pakistan on Friday morning at 4:25 a.m. as it was trying to cross the IB in the Arnia sector. Due to the firing, it returned back immediately,” a BSF spokesman said.

The sortie of the hexacopter (unmanned helicopter having six rotors) was meant for carrying out surveillance of the area. It’s for the second time since the twin blasts in Jammu, which left two Air Force personnel injured.

5 LeT militants, soldier killed

Five LeT militants were killed in an operation by security forces in Pulwama. One soldier died in the encounter.

“A total of five terrorists were killed, including LeT’s district commander Nishaz Lone alias Khitab and one Pakistani terrorist. It’s a big success,” Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said.

The encounter broke out at night when security forces launched an operation after a tip-off about the presence of militants at Hanjan village in Rajpora area.

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