AFS Drone attack: Haven’t reached any conclusion yet, but Lashkar hand suspected: J&K DGP

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Says infiltration down but weapon, narco smuggling through drones up; local militant recruitment almost zero; drones being used to ferry IEDs too; technical measures taken to deal with drone threat; more encounters on cards

Kathua, Jul 02 : Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh Friday said that investigations are on into the June 27 Jammu Air Force Station drone attack case and so far “no conclusion has reached yet but prima-facie evidence and the past experience of drone movement suggests Lashkar-e-Toiba hand into the AFS incident.”

Talking to reporters on the side-lines of a attestation-cum-passing out parade at Kathua in Jammu region, the DGP Singh said that investigations into the Jammu AFS drone attack were still in progress.

“We have not reached any conclusion as investigations are still on. Given the past history of Lashkar-e-Toiba using drones to drop weapons and narcotics on this side besides the readymade Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) to be planted at various locations, prima-facie it looks that Lashkar hand is being Jammu AFS drone attack,” the DGP said in reply to a query about the fate of investigations on June 27 drone attack on AFS, as per news agency.

He said that as and when police move further, things will be clearer. On the intervening night of June 26 and 27, two suspected drones air-dropped payloads at the Jammu AFS. One explosive device pierced through the room while another one exploded in the premises. Luckily, there was no loss of life in the incident. The attack, first of its kind, sent the entire security establishment of J&K into a tizzy.

Replying to a query about the arrested of a militant along with a 5.5 kg IED, the DGP Singh said that a day before Jammu AFS attack, a militant module was busted, that was tasked to carry out IED attacks in crowded places to cause as much as possible damage to human lives and property.

“The IED was sent from the LeT handler from across. The fellow who was to receive that IED has been arrested by police and is being interrogated,” the J&K police chief said and complimented the security agencies and Jammu police for the successful operation of thwarting the attempt before the IED could be planted.

The DGP said that before the Jammu AFS attack, over a dozen incidents of weapon droppings by LeT with the use of drones had taken place. “RDX was found in the IED that was recovered from the module busted. It was fabricated to be carried and dropped by a drone,” he said.

Replying to a query about how big the challenge of drones was, the J&K police chief said: “It is indeed a major security threat. The use of drones by anti-national elements, militants, to drop weapons and IEDs is a threat and we are taking counter steps. We have upgraded our technology and we are fighting this threat technically too.”

He said militant outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) are behind the dropping of arms, IEDs and narcotics by drones in Jammu and Kashmir.

DGP Singh said that all the security agencies have got together after the drone strike and a series of meetings to review the security arrangements of vital installations and places to ward off such types of attacks in future, have already been taken and are taking place on a regular basis.

“Some additional measures have been taken which cannot be discussed in the media. Some measures have been taken and more measures are in the pipeline,” he said. About the rise in encounters in South Kashmir areas, the DGP said that in the days ahead, there will be more encounters as anti-militancy operations will be intensified. About the ceasefire, he said that there is a lull on the LoC but there is a rise in pushing in narcotics, weapons and money with the help of drones. To a query about local militant recruitment, he said the graph is too less compared to the past and there will be further dip in the numbers in days ahead

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