'Navy may destroy drone spotted near Mumbai premises'

Navy may destroy any drone spotted flying around naval facilities in Mumbai, warns Centre

This comes amid apprehensions about terrorists based in Pakistan using drones to smuggle weapons or explosives to India

The drone operators found violating the government guidelines would be liable for prosecution under the relevant provisions of law, the MoD stated in New Delhi. Credit: Reuters Photo

The Indian Navy will confiscate or destroy any drone flying within three kilometers around its installations in Mumbai, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) stated, amid apprehensions about terrorists based in Pakistan using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to smuggle weapons or explosives to India as well as to carry out attacks.

The government on Tuesday stated that the Indian Navy reserved the right to confiscate or destroy any aerial drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) found flying within the “No Fly Zone”, an area of three kilometers from the perimeters of the naval installations in Mumbai, without prior approval. The drone operators found violating the government guidelines would be liable for prosecution under the relevant provisions of law, the Ministry of Defence stated in New Delhi.

The Ministry of Defence’s warning came even as a high alert was sounded over a possible terror attack in New Delhi using explosive-laden drones before or during the Independence Day celebrations on August 15.

Dilbagh Singh, the Director General of Police in Jammu and Kashmir, on Monday said that the role of the terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) had been confirmed in most of the cases of smuggling of arms from Pakistan to India across the Line of Control (LoC) as well as the undisputed stretch of border between the two nations.

Also read — Terror outfits using drones for their activities: Jammu and Kashmir DGP

Two low-intensity bombs were dropped on the Indian Air Force station in Jammu on June 27 from what was suspected to be a drone. The explosion damaged the rooftop of one of the buildings and injured two personnel. The incident was followed by at least six instances of sightings of drones near India-Pakistan LoC or over military installations in the Union Territory. The Border Security Force (BSF) personnel on July 14 spotted a drone flying over India’s territory along the undisputed stretch of country’s border with Pakistan at Arnia in Jammu. The drone retreated after the BSF personnel opened fire at it.

The Ministry of Defence stated that all individuals and civil agencies were prohibited from flying any drone within the 'No Fly Zone' around the Indian Navy facilities in Mumbai for any reason.

The utilisation of drones is governed by the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Any operator has to seek approval from the Director General Civil Aviation too fly a drone. A copy of the approval letter would have to be submitted to the headquarters of the Western Naval Command in Mumbai at least a week before the day the operator would like to fly the drone within the 'No Fly Zone' around the naval installations, the ministry stated.

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