A week after the drone attack at an Air Force base in Jammu, the Srinagar administration has imposed restrictions on the use, possession and sale of drones.
According to a July 3 order issued by the office of district magistrate Mohammad Aijaz, those having drone cameras or other similar unmanned aerial vehicles must deposit them with police.
“A ban has been imposed on the possession, sale and use of drones in Srinagar due to security reasons. People who have drones should deposit them with the nearest police station,” the district magistrate.
The order states that “the decentralised airspace access has to be regulated in view of recent episodes of misuse of drones posing threat to security infrastructure as reported by media/other reliable sources”.
The order adds that “with a view to secure the aerial space near the vital installations and highly populated areas, it is imperative to discontinue the use of drones in all social and cultural gatherings to eliminate any risk of injury to the life and damage of property”.
Besides concerns of breach of privacy and trespass, it is “extremely dangerous to let unmanned aerial vehicles wander around in the skies” within Srinagar, the order states.
Government departments using drones for survey and surveillance activities in agricultural, environmental conservation and disaster mitigation sectors have been asked to inform the local police station before using them.
The order has cautioned that any violation of the guidelines will attract punitive action and directed police to implement the restrictions.
The Srinagar administration’s order comes at a time when security is on high alert in the Union Territory following the drone attack at the Jammu Air Force base in the early hours last Sunday.
Two explosions at the base left two Indian Air Force personnel injured. Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh, said a “drone with payload” was suspected to have been used to “drop the explosive material”.
This was the first such instance of drones used in a terror attack on an Indian military facility.
About 24 hours later, two more drones were spotted near Kaluchak military station in Jammu. An Army statement said they “flew away” when they were fired at.
“A major threat thwarted by the alertness and proactive approach of troops. The security forces are on high alert and the search operation is in progress,” the statement added.
Lieutenant General D P Pandey, Corps Commander of the 15 Corps in Srinagar, has said the technology used in Sunday’s drone strikes indicate “state-support” and involvement of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
“We are well aware that these assets and tech – drone warfare, for example – cannot just be made on the roadside. These indicate state-supported systems and technology… and state supported, or state sponsored, technology definitely indicates Jaish and Lashkar,” General Pandey has said.