Pakistan-backed terrorist groups and its Inter Services Intelligence have started using bigger drones to expand its capacity to smuggle arms and ammunition across the border in India’s Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, people familiar with the matter said.
Counter-terror officials in Delhi said the terrorist groups and the ISI, which had been using drones for arms trafficking at a small scale over the past few years, had procured upgraded versions of the drones that can carry much larger quantities of firearms in every sortie.
The increased capacity, one official said, was crucial since the high mountain passes on the Line of Control (LoC) are all snowed in to make jihadist infiltration difficult in Jammu and Kashmir. There are multiple intelligence reports, he said, that the Pakistani deep state is using weapon drops in Punjab, which are meant for terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir.
Latest reports also indicate that Pakistan-based Khalistani groups are also being pushed by their handlers to exploit the farmers’ agitation in Punjab as part of its continuing effort to revive militancy in the border state. These suspicions have been communicated to the Centre and internal security agencies by the State Police time and again.
In Punjab alone, officials said, there have been four Chinese drone recoveries by Punjab Police along with weapons since 12 August 2019 apart from other aerial movements.