Chandigarh, Dec 21 (PTI) Eleven hand grenades dropped by a drone flying in from Pakistan were recovered from a field near the International Border in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district, police said on Monday.
The consignment was found in a field in Salach village, located about one km from the border, Gurdaspur Senior Superintendent of Police Rajinder Singh Sohal told PTI over the phone.
The box of hand grenades had been attached with a wooden frame and was lowered from the drone to the ground with a nylon rope, said police, adding that they recovered it on Sunday evening.
Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta said they launched a search operation immediately after receiving information from the Border Security Force about the drone movement.
The BSF personnel deployed at the Chakri border outpost in the Gurdaspur sector had noticed a Pakistani drone entering the Indian territory around 11.30 pm and they immediately fired multiple shots to bring it down.
After the BSF alerted the Gurdaspur police about the incident, the station house officer of Dorangla reached the spot.
On hearing the buzzing sound of the drone, cops fired multiple shots from AK-47 and SLR rifles to bring it down but it soon disappeared, said police.
A search and combing operation was launched on Sunday morning, leading to the recovery of a plastic box containing 11 Arges-type HG 84.
The drone, however, was not recovered and it is suspected that it managed to fly back into Pakistan after dropping the recovered payload, said police.
The Arges-type HG 84 is a conventional system, spraying shrapnel out to a distance of 30 metres, the DGP said.
A case under the relevant sections of the Explosive Substances Act has been registered at the Dorangla police station in Gurdaspur and further investigation is on, said the DGP.
The first incident of dropping of arms and weapons through drones from Pakistan came to light in Punjab in September 2019 when police recovered AK-47 rifles, magazines and rounds of ammunition, hand grenades, fake currency and other items in Tarn Taran district.
Police on Monday said they have arrested two more people in a case involving the cross-border smuggling of arms and drugs through drones.
On December 14 this year, police had arrested Lakhbir Singh and Bachittar Singh, who were members of a module using drones for cross-border smuggling of narcotics and weapons.
The questioning of Lakhbir led to the arrest of a Delhi-based Lucky Dhawan who had supplied him with a quadcoptor drone without any formal documentation or billing, as required under government instructions, said police.
During questioning, Dhawan revealed that the drone supplied to Lakhbir was assembled by Baldev Singh, a resident of Delhi.
Search of his workshop led to the recovery of four drones, said Dinkar Gupta. Baldev Singh does not possess any valid government authorisation to conduct the business of purchase and sale of drones, said police.
Police said they are examining documents recovered from Dhawan to trace supplies of drones and and their hardware to Punjab and other states. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK