December 21, 2020 05:39 PM

Chandigarh, Dec 21
Five days after they busted a drone module with international linkages in Amritsar (Rural) district, the Punjab Police have seized 11 Arges-84 hand grenades dropped on the night of 19th December by a drone launched from Pakistan, which was engaged and shot at jointly by police and Border Security Force (BSF) personnel close to the border in Gurdaspur district.

The shocking seizures came even as a police team, investigating the December 14 drone module case of Amritsar (Rural) district, arrested two Delhi-based suppliers/assemblers of drones, taking the total number of arrests in the case to eight, including the four jailed smugglers who were found connected with the case. Four drones, one partially constructed drone, video transmitter system, drone hardware and other crucial evidence has been recovered in the case, in which investigations so far have revealed key linkages between Pakistan-based entities who were actively involved in the latest drone module as well as the earlier two modules. Further technical analysis and investigation is being conducted to unravel the nexus of the accused with Pakistan-based smugglers, including their links with militant outfits.

DGP Dinkar Gupta said the Punjab Police mounted a search operation immediately after receiving information from the BSF about drone movement across the Indo-Pak border in Gurdaspur district. BSF personnel deployed at BOP Chakri in Gurdaspur sector had noticed a Pak drone entering Indian territory around 11:30 pm, and BSF troops immediately fired multiple shots in an attempt to bring down the drone.

At the same time, the BSF personnel alerted the Gurdaspur police about the incident, and SHO PS Dorangla immediately reached the area and deployed cops to engage the drone. On hearing the buzzing sound of the drone, the police personnel also fired multiple shots from AK47 and SLR Rifles to bring down the drone, which soon disappeared.

A search and combing operation was mounted in the area on Sunday morning, leading to the recovery of a plastic box containing 11 Arges-84 Hand grenades from near Dhussi Bandh, in the area of Salach village, PS Dorangla. The box of hand grenades had been attached with a wooden frame and lowered from the drone to the ground with a nylon rope. Austrian in nature, the Arges Type HG 84 series anti-personnel fragmentation hand grenade, is a conventional hand grenade system designed to inflict massive damage against soft targets within its blast radius, spraying shrapnel out to a distance of 30 meters at speed,

Further investigations have revealed the names of three key Pakistan based entities – Chishti, Malik and Maqsood, who were in contact with the arrested accused. Chishti was also in close contact with the accused arrested in the Akashdeep drone module case busted by Punjab Police in September 2019. Further, Malik was in contact with the accused Ajaypal Singh, arrested in the drone module busted by Punjab Police in January 2020.

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