J&K police to acquire 50 UAVs to check on militants

A Jet turbine UAV fly in the Drone Olympics, as part of the Aero India show 2019, at Jakkur Aerodrome in Bengaluru. (DH photo)

Jammu and Kashmir police is in a process of acquiring 50 latest unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones to keep a close watch on militant activities and stone-pelters in the state.
Sources told DH that after approval from Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), tenders have been floated by the procurement wing of J&K police to procure the UAVs. “The purchase process will be completed before the year-end as funds have already been made available for it,” they said.
While the police have been using UAVs for quite some time, the newly acquired UAVs will be given to different police districts in J&K to make the force more tech savvy, especially in Kashmir where encounters with militants take frequently, they added.
A senior police officer said this bulk procurement would equip the force to tackle anti-militancy operations and also protestors in a better way. “After procurement of UAVs, a batch of police officials will be trained to operate these drones,” he said.
“Not only the newly acquired UAVs will enhance the capacity of police force to tackle militants better during encounters, but it can also take videos and pictures during stone-pelting protests, which can later help the police to identify the culprits,” the officer added.
So far, the army had been using UAVs in Kashmir to track the movement of infiltrators along the Line of Control (LoC) and forest areas. There have also been reports of army using small UAVs during encounters with militants in hinterland. The UAVs were also used in the recent years during annual Amarnath yatra to keep a close vigil on movement at routes in Pahalgam and Balatal. 
As per the police specifications, the UAVs will be of category 3, which is considered the latest and equipped with all sorts of technology required by the police in Kashmir keeping in view the terrain and mountainous region.

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