Security forces seized a weapons cache in the early hours of Tuesday along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu division’s Akhnoor sector, which they said was air-dropped by a drone from Pakistan.
This is the fourth incident of Pakistan air-dropping weapons in Jammu’s border areas over the past three months, according to security forces.
Officials said the cache seized on Tuesday contained two AK-47 rifles, three magazines and 90 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition, one 9-MM Chinese pistol along with two magazines and 14 rounds of ammunition, besides two packets of packaging material containing blue thermocol wrapped in adhesive tape with wooden attachment fittings and two rolls (nearly 300 mts) of synthetic/parachute thread.
Jammu’s Senior Superintendent of Police, Shridhar Patil, said the arms were seized during a search operation launched by security forces on Monday night across various places in Akhnoor, based on credible information. Around 12.50 am, teams in Sohal Khad area heard a drone but they could not spot it owing to the darkness, Patil said, adding that they continued searching the area and found the consignment.
A case under various provisions of the IPC, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Arms Act had been registered at Akhnoor police station, Patil said.
Sohal Khad, nearly 12 kms from Akhnoor town, forms part of the strategic Chicken’s Neck area where the International Border (IB) coming from the plains of Kathua, Samba and Jammu meets the LoC going towards Rajouri and Poonch through the mountain ranges of Pir Panjal.
Significantly, following the heightened vigil along the IB by the BSF and Army troops, airdrops of weapons have emerged as a new challenge for security agencies.
Last week, the J&K Police and the Army’s 38 Rashtriya Rifles had arrested three Lashkar-e-Taiba militants — Pulwama residents Rahil Bashir and Amir Jaan alias Hamza and Shopian resident Hafiz Yunus Wani — who had travelled to Rajouri’s Gurdanbala area to pick up a consignment of arms and cash which was reportedly airdropped by Pakistan. Two AK-56 rifles, six magazines and 180 rounds, two Chinese pistols with three magazines and 30 rounds, four grenades, two pouches and cash worth Rs 1 lakh were seized from the trio.
After their arrests, J&K DGP Dilbag Singh had said airdrops of weapons and narcotics has of late emerged as a major challenge for security forces in the Union Territory. Counter-measures are being put in place, he had added.
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