India using drones to pinpoint militants and stone pelting protesters in Kashmir

MAMOSA Report — India’s Central Reserve Police Force has begun using drones for monitoring protests by Kashmiri youth stone pelters and pinpointing militants in Indian-held Kashmir.

“As part of use of technological interventions for containing militants action in Jammu and Kashmir that has witnessed renewed violence ahead of the onset of summer season, the CRPF has deployed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for counter-terror action in the Valley,” The Northlines reported.

The CRPF will “hunt down” militants by utilizing real-time data generated from the drones, the report said.

“After the recent violence by protesters in the Valley, the CRPF has now deployed UAVs on trial basis to pinpoint the location of militant before launching the anti-militants operations in Jammu and Kashmir,” a senior Union Home Ministry official said.

The Valley has witnessed a complete lockdown after three alleged militants were killed in Kashmir’s Budgam district on Tuesday.

Bracing for the long hot summer in the disputed region, Indian security agencies recently decided to make maximum use of UAVs in several sensitive areas in south region of Indian-held Kashmir.

The UAVs have been put to use on a trial basis and the “positive feedback” will lead eventually to take a policy decision for use of drones in a major way by the security forces.

Countering militants’ action and managing law and order situation with drones in areas where security forces are being targeted by Kashmiri stone-pelters seeking self-determination is expected to become the new normal, observers say.

The UAVs will also be used during the bypolls in Srinagar and Anantnag constituencies, the report said.

India’s security agencies will also use these drones for intel purposes during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the disputed region on April 2 for inaugurating the Jammu-Srinagar tunnel.

Around 60,000 CRPF personnel are involved in the region for crowd control and to fight insurgency with the Army.

According to an estimate, 600,000 army personnel are deployed in Kashmir. Security has been beefed up further along the Line of Control as Mr. Modi arrives to open the Asia’s longest bi-directional all-weather road tunnel built to military specs.

The 11 kilometer tunnel — considered a strategic asset, took five and a half  years to build and cost Indian Rupee 2500 crore.

In an unrelated note, Israel has offered to sell India its armed unmanned aerial vehicles Eitan or Heron TP in order to enhance its stand-off strike as well as long-range strategic strike capability. The offer is still on the table, with South Block interested in bringing the unmanned weapon through “Make in India” route.

India has been looking towards the US and Israel for acquiring Predators or Heron TPs.

India has Heron UAVs in service with the air force already, where they are being used for surveillance as well as in the target acquisition and reconnaissance role.

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