J&K administration bans drones, unmanned vehicles in Srinagar

The decision of banning drones in Srinagar has been taken a week after two Indian Air Force Personnel were injured in twin drone-driven blasts at an Air Force base in Jammu.

Created On: Jul 5, 2021 12:06 IST
Drones banned in Srinagar
Drones banned in Srinagar

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on July 4, 2021, banned the sale, possession, storage, transport, and use of drones or any other unmanned aerial vehicles in the capital Srinagar.

The decision has been taken a week after two Indian Air Force Personnel were injured in twin drone-driven blasts at an Air Force base in Jammu.

In an official order, the Srinagar District Magistrate Mohammad Aijaz said that to secure the aerial space near the vital installations and highly populated areas, it is imperative to discontinue the use of drones in all the social and cultural gatherings to eliminate any risk of injury to the life and damage to property.

The order, issued under Section 144 of Cr.PC further stated that decentralized airspace access has to be regulated in view of the recent episodes of the misuse of drones posing a threat to security infrastructure.

Keeping in view the security situation apart from the concerns of breach of privacy, nuisance, and trespass, it is extremely dangerous to let the unmanned aerial vehicles wander around within the territorial jurisdiction of Srinagar.

Who is restricted to use drones in Srinagar?

Those having drone cameras or any other similar kinds of unmanned aerial vehicles to deposit them in the local police stations.

The order states that persons already having drone cameras or similar kinds of unmanned vehicles in their possession shall ground the same in local police stations under proper receipt.

The administration has also cautioned that any form of violation of the guidelines will attract punitive action, and has directed the police to implement the restrictions in letter and spirit.

Exemptions to govt departments:

The order issued by the J&K authorities, however, has exempted the government departments from using drones for surveys, mapping, and surveillance in the environmental, agricultural conservation, and disaster migration sectors but has directed them to inform the local police station before using them.

Curb on drones in other areas of J&K:

Earlier, the authorities in the border districts of Rajouri and Kathua in the Jammu region had also put curbs on the use of drones and other UAVs in the wake of a terror attack on June 27, 2021.

Background:

On June 27, 2021, two explosives-laden drones had crashed into the Indian Air Force Station at Jammu Airport. Since then, there have also been other suspicious sightings of UAVs, triggering a security alert.

Reportedly, two drones were used to drop the explosives on the Jammu airbase by the attackers who then navigated their quadcopters out of that area.

The attacks on the airbase carried out possibly using the improvised explosive device (IED) could not cause much damage other than causing minor injuries to two personnel on duty.

India takes the issue of Drone attack to the UN:

Taking the issue of drone attack with all seriousness, at UN General Assembly, a senior official of India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, stressed at the 2nd High-Level Conference of the Head of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of the Member States that being a low-cost option and easily available, the utilization of the aerial platforms for sinister purposes by the terrorist groups have become an imminent danger and challenge for the security agencies worldwide.

The official further added that the possibility of the use of weaponized drones for terrorist purposes against the commercial and strategic assets calls for serious attention by the member states.

 

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