The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and other agencies are working on indigenous drone defense technology that will be available soon, Union Interior Minister Amit Shah said on Saturday, adding that any gaps in India’s border fences will be closed by 2022.
The comments came over two weeks after a drone was shot with explosives at the Indian Air Force (IAF) base in Jammu on June 27. Two people were injured by the explosives. Since then, drones have been spotted hovering over military facilities in the region.
“Smuggling drugs, weapons and explosives through tunnels and drones is a major challenge. Today it is very important that we face these challenges at an early stage. I am confident that we will soon be increasing our presence at the borders with anti-drone technology from Swadeshi (Made-in-India), ”Shah said at an inauguration ceremony for the Border Security Force (BSF).
The June 27 attack on the IAF station was the first such incident that Pakistan-based terrorists used unmanned aerial vehicles to attack vital facilities in India. The National Investigation Agency is investigating the case. There have been several incidents in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir where terrorists used drones to drop weapons, ammunition, drugs and money to fuel terrorism in the area. At least 300 drones have been sighted there along the border with Pakistan since 2019.
HT reported last week that there had been several rounds of meetings between various authorities and private actors about a technology to detect, identify and contain the threat posed by fraudulent drones. A procurement plan for this is at an advanced stage.
Shah told top security officials at the inauguration ceremony that it was their responsibility to find, with the help of experts, new technologies that will help India deal with the threat posed by the use of artificial intelligence and robotic technology by enemies and terrorists.
The head of the Intelligence Bureau, Aravind Kumar, the head of the research and analysis squadron Samant Goel, the director general of the BSF, Rakesh Asthana, and heads of other central police forces attended the ceremony.
Shah said all gaps in India’s border fences will be closed by 2022 to completely end infiltration and other anti-national activities.
India shares over 15,000 km of land border with Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan.
Fences were sanctioned over 2,069 km of the 3,323 km long Indian-Pakistani border. It was completed over 2,021 km. India shares a 4,096 km long border with Bangladesh. About 3,063.24 km of which are fenced.
The government approved a plan last year to replace the old fence with a new one with “cut, rust and climbing protection” properties. Shah cited the barriers to fencing in certain sections – housing estates within 150 meters of the border, to land acquisition and protests by the border population, as well as bureaucratic hurdles. He added that these hurdles often delay the progress of fencing. He added that discussions would clear up the issues.
“If 97% of the border is fenced, then that 3% is part of the problem because it gives intruders a chance. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has worked to resolve border security issues. There is no benefit when there are loopholes. So I can assure you that there will be no gaps in the border fencing until 2022, ”said Shah. “A country cannot be safe if its borders are not safe.”
Shah praised the BSF for its work in border guards and, in particular, in exposing tunnels used by terrorists and smugglers. He called on paramilitary forces stationed at various borders to ensure that the local population does not migrate.