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Srinagar district administration bans sale, usage of drones and UAVs: Report

A week ago, two drones were used in an attack on the IAF station at Jammu airport and there were other suspicious sightings of UAVs, which triggered a security alert.

The Srinagar administration has banned the sale, possession, and use of drones under the district limits. This comes a week after a drone attack on an Indian Air Force base in Jammu injured two, reports by Press Trust of India, NDTV, and others said.

Earlier, authorities in the border districts of Rajouri and Kathua in the Jammu region had imposed similar restrictions on the usage and sale of drones. In the order, Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar district, Mohammad Aijaz directed those who are already in possession of drones or similar UAVs, to deposit them at their local police stations.

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What does the order say?

  • The order allows government departments to use drones for mapping, surveys, and surveillance in agricultural, environmental conservation and disaster mitigation sectors. However, it directed them to inform the local police station before using them.
  • It says that violation of the guidelines will attract punitive action, and also directed the police to implement the restrictions in letter and spirit.
  • The order comes in lieu of a similar recommendation made by the Srinagar police chief.
  • Decentralised airspace access has to be regulated since it poses a threat to security infrastructure.
  • Use of drones to be discontinued in all social and cultural gatherings to eliminate any risk to life.

Two days ago, drones were used in an attack on an Indian Air Force base in Jammu Airport. The usage of drones was confirmed by Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbagh to NDTV. The news organisation quoted Dilbagh saying, “Drones with payload were used in both the blasts at Jammu airfield. Another crude bomb was found by the Jammu police. This IED was received by a Lashkar e Taiba operative and was to be planted at some crowded place.”

The twin blasts at the high-security airport happened at 1.37 am and 1.43 am and caused minor injuries to two IAF personnel, reports said. While one blast caused damage to the roof of a building, another bomb exploded in an open area, the media wing of the Indian Air Force tweeted. The IAF also said that there was no damage to any equipment.

On Monday, a statement by Lt Col Devender Anand, Defence (PRO), said that two separate drone activities were spotted over the Ratnuchak-Kaluchak Military area by troops on the intervening midnight of Sunday and Monday. In fact, for the next three consecutive days drones were spotted near different defence installations in Jammu, an India Today report said.

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

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