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Drone attacks in Jammu: More districts in J&K  to ban, possession, use of drones by civilian

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Jammu: In the wake of twin explosions on the Indian Air Force (IAF) station in the winter capital Jammu, believed to be drone strikes and sighting of more drones near various vital installations last week in J&K, the district magistrates have been authorized to ban the sale, possession and use of such unmanned aerial vehicles in their respective jurisdictions.

In Jammu division, the border districts of Rajouri and Kathua district had put curbs on the use of drones and other UAVs in the wake of the terror attack on IAF base on June 27, while in Kashmir valley, the district administration of Srinagar today imposed a ban on the use of drones and flying objects in the summer capital.

Last Sunday, two explosives-laden drones had crashed into the Indian Air Force station at Jammu airport and there were other suspicious sightings of UAVs, triggering a security alert.

To secure aerial space near vital installations and highly populated areas, it is imperative to discontinue the use of drones in all social and cultural gatherings to eliminate any risk of injury to life and damage to property, read an order issued by district magistrates (DM), Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Asad.

As per top official sources, the district magistrates of border district Samba, Jammu and Udhampur which have host of vital defense installations including the headquarters of Army’s Northern Command will soon be issuing orders of banning the sale, possession and use of such unmanned aerial vehicles

Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Ragav Langer said, “The DMs have advised to take call on their own based on the threat perception on banning the unmanned  and other flying objects in their districts. The DMs  have been advised to hold consultations with district SSPs and can issue prohibitory orders on their recommendations”.

Divisional commissioner, Kashmir Pandurang K Pole on whether, any order has been issued banning the UAVs in the entire Valley after it was banned in Srinagar today.

“The drone movement was banned in Srinagar district to regulate the decentralised air space access as it has number of vital defence installations. It is for the DMs to take call on banning UAVs based on the recommendations from security forces and local police”, said PK Pole.

In an order, DM Srinagar Mohammad Aijaz directed those having drone cameras or other similar kinds of unmanned aerial vehicles to deposit them in local police stations.

The order, however, exempted government departments using drones for mapping, surveys and surveillance in agricultural, environmental conservation and disaster mitigation sectors but directed them to inform the local police station before using them.

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

Drones are governed by aircraft act 1934 and civil aviation rules 2021 already restrict flying the UAVs in prohibited areas like within a distance of three kilometres from the perimeter of any civil, private, defence airports, military installations and facilities and state secretariat complex. The prohibition also implies within two kilometres from the perimeter of any strategic or vital installation besides around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

 

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