Indian border force 'shoot down drone carrying drugs from Pakistan'

Traffickers are using unmanned aerial vehicles to smuggle narcotics into the country, authorities say

Members of India's Border Security Force show the drone and packets of suspected heroin brought down near Amritsar on November 29. AFP
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India's border police said on Tuesday they had shot down a drone from Pakistan near Amritsar city, the latest alleged incident of increased drone use by the rival nations against each other.

The Border Security Force said it shot the hexacopter late on Monday inside Indian territory near the village of Chaharpur, about 40km from Amritsar city, and found a suspected haul of drugs attached to it.

“Alert troops of BSF once again were able to capture a drone and foil a smuggling attempt,” a representative of the force said.

The BSF said the drone, weighing about 18kg, was carrying 3kg polythene bags of white powder when it was found damaged in farmland.

The UAV incident came just four days after troops claimed to have shot down another drone in the region.

The northern state of Punjab, with Amritsar one of the biggest cities, is a known international drug trafficking route, with narcotics from Afghanistan being smuggled via Pakistan to India and other parts of the world.

Over the years, Indian authorities have said the highly militarised fenced border has prompted traffickers to use drones to smuggle drugs into India.

New Delhi has also accused Islamabad of smuggling arms and ammunition into the disputed Kashmir region where an armed insurgency has been raging against Indian rule since the 1980s.

Indian authorities have reported about 230 drone attempts from across the international border since January this year. The number was reportedly about 100 last year.

India says about 80 drones have intruded into the Indian side on the Line of Control, a highly militarised border between the nuclear-armed nations that divides the Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Islamabad has also accused New Delhi of using drones to spy, which it says it has shot down.

Updated: November 29, 2022, 12:08 PM
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