CHANDIGARH: Amid rising movement of drones and cross-border smugglers, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann sanctioned ₹20 crores for installations of drones at strategic locations in the border villages, said Special Director General of Police (DGP) Arpit Shukla here on Wednesday.

Also, aiming to combat unabated smuggling of drugs and weapons across border through drones, DGP Punjab Gaurav Yadav has also declared a reward of Rs 1 lakh for providing information of drone movement leading to recovery of weapons/narcotics, he added.

The Special DGP accompanied by IG Frontier Headquarters, BSF Jalandhar Dr Atul Fulzele was in Khasa in Amritsar to hold a Joint coordination cum review meeting with senior officials of BSF and Punjab Police to further strengthen the security at the border to prevent the cross border smuggling. DIG Border Range Narinder Bhargav and DIG Ferozepur Range Ranjit Singh Dhillon along with four DIGs and four Commandants of BSF were among the senior officials who attended the meeting.

Giving a call for greater synergy and teamwork between BSF and Punjab Police, Special DGP Arpit Shukla said that it was high time that both the elite forces should work in tandem and better coordination to counter the Drone operations at Punjab borders, which have emerged as the new threat. He also stressed on the need to carry out evidence-based and proactive policing to prevent the smuggling of narcotics and weapons into Punjab from across the border.

The Special DGP asked the Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) of Border districts to intensify the Police force as a second line of defence which will help in preventing the collection of contraband dropped through drones by the criminals on the Indian side.

He also discussed the strategic locations and hotspots in border villages to install CCTV cameras to keep vigil at Indian Nationals involved in the cross-border smuggling. He asked the BSF officials to share inputs of movements of suspected persons with the Punjab Police so that they can keep a sharp vigil on their activities and ensure penal action against those found involved in any criminal activity.

Special DGP Arpit Shukla directed the CPs/SSPs to increase the Police Checkpoints, especially at night, in their respective jurisdictions and ensure checking of maximum vehicles at every Naka, which will help in curtailing the terrorist and criminal activities. He advised that all the Nakas should be synchronised in a manner that they must get activated promptly on a single call.

He also proposed to activate Village Defence Committees (VDCs) in the Border areas to counter the nexus between smugglers and criminals in the border areas. “These committees will work as eyes and ears of the Police and supplement the efforts of Punjab Police to wipe out drugs, terrorists and gangsters from the border state,” said special DGP Arpit Shukla.

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