A Pakistani drone was spotted near the International Border in Punjab’s Gurdaspur early Monday morning. The drone flew back towards the Pakistani side as the alert troops of the Border Security Force (BSF) fired several rounds at it, reported news agency ANI.

The drone was spotted near the International Border at around 5 am, in the area of BSF’s Rosa Post BOP 89 Bn in Gurdaspur, Punjab. A search operation by the BSF and the police is underway. This was the third such incident in recent times. Incidents of drones being sighted in Punjab, coming from the Pakistan side, has seen a significant rise this year as compared to the Jammu sector.

Till July this year, a total of 107 drones flying from across the border were spotted inside the Indian territory as compared to 97 drones spotted last year, according to the BSF. Sixty-four such cases were reported in Punjab last year, 31 in Jammu, and two were seen crossing the Line of Control in Jammu. The total 107 such incidents till July this year included 14 in Jammu and 93 in the Punjab sector.

A senior BSF officer said that most of these drones coming from Pakistan are used to deliver narcotics, weapons, explosives, and ammunition.

“There are teams with anti-drone guns deployed at borders. The patrolling parties keep watch on any suspicious aerial activity and often they recover narcotics substances and arms delivered from these drones,” he said.In 2021, BSF shot down one drone in the Ferozpur sector while this year seven drones were shot down and a huge quantity of narcotics was recovered.

The total length of Punjab’s border with Pakistan is 553 km and the 198-km stretch of the India-Pakistan border in the Jammu region is guarded by BSF.

Another BSF officer said that there is no effective anti-drone technology available to shoot down every drone crossing the border, but the¬†troops on the ground keep a watch on drones or any aerial object crossing the border.”Not only ground, but we also keep an eye on the sky, and BSF personnel are trained to shoot down unidentified UAVs. Sometimes drones fly too high to get detected, we only detect it by their humming sound when it comes close to ground,” he said.