Nation Current Affairs 22 Feb 2017 Drones may be roped ...

Drones may be roped in to take on terrorists

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | RAJNISH SHARMA
Published Feb 22, 2017, 12:57 am IST
Updated Feb 22, 2017, 6:36 am IST
Limited use of the gadget likely in Valley, North-East.
Drones will be deployed in areas where possibility of loss of human life is much higher.
 Drones will be deployed in areas where possibility of loss of human life is much higher.

New Delhi: In what may well mark a major tactical shift in its fight against terror, the government is considering using drones in targeting militants, particularly in the Kashmir Valley and North-East.

Top government sources confirmed to this newspaper that the move was currently being discussed among the ministries of home and defence and office of the National Security Advisor.

 

Sources said the security agencies operating in these militancy-infested areas are of the opinion that based on specific Intelligence inputs “limited use of drones” can prove to be extremely effective in flushing out militants particularly from hideouts where possibility of loss of human life is much higher.

The issue is still being thoroughly debated at the highest level as Centre wants to ensure that no innocent lives are lost when drones are pressed into service during an anti-terror operation.

There is a possibility, sources said, that the government may give the go ahead to use of drones in a phased manner to assess its impact.

 

“There is a view that security forces like BSF, CRPF and Army could be allowed to use drones in the Valley but with stringent guidelines as to protect civilians and residential areas. The focus would primarily be on targeting militants that are hiding in forest or buildings which are away from residential localities. If the experiment in Valley proves successful it would also be extended to hit at militant hideouts in the North-East,” a senior security official said.

Recently, the Centre had allowed the elite National Security Guards to use drones in their counter terror operations. But unlike other security forces, the NSG conducts only specific operations as was witnessed during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and storming of the Pathankot Air Force base.

 

At present security forces are using drones in Naxal-infested areas also but these are primarily to track their movement rather than for hot pursuit or an armed operation.

But sources claimed that if use of drones proves to effective in militancy prone regions then possibility of deploying them for armed operations against the Maoists cannot be ruled out.

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Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi




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