How drones came in handy for Haryana cops - Hindustan Times
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How drones came in handy for Haryana cops

By, Karnal
Feb 14, 2024 05:10 AM IST

The latest tech, used twice by the authorities during mock drills in the past few days, shocked many on-and-off the ground, when these were used to disperse groups of stone-pelting protesters during the face-off.

The protesting farmers on Tuesday faced tear gas shells by Haryana Police and paramilitary forces for at least six hours at Shambhu border on Tuesday. Some of the shells were dropped using drones to stop farmers from heading to the national capital.

A drone being used for surveillance and dropping tear gas shells at Singhu border in view of farmers' protest march, in New Delhi, Tuesday. (PTI)
A drone being used for surveillance and dropping tear gas shells at Singhu border in view of farmers' protest march, in New Delhi, Tuesday. (PTI)

The latest tech, used twice by the authorities during mock drills in the past few days, shocked many on-and-off the ground, when these were used to disperse groups of stone-pelting protesters during the face-off.

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On the first day of protests, Ambala Range IGP Sibash Kabiraj, Ambala DC Shaleen and SP Jashandeep Singh Randhawa were closely monitoring the evolving situation and instructing the drone pilot to move it accordingly and drop shells.

While Congress leaders in Punjab have demanded an FIR against Haryana for crossing into their territory for using drones and “attacking state’s autonomy”, farm organisations claimed that the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) instead instigated the farmers, when shells were dropped on their elderly counterparts waiting at the tractor-trailers, much away from the Ghaggar overbridge.

A senior official on duty at the Haryana-Punjab border on Shambhu said Vajra vehicles of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and the police fired at least 4,500 shells on both the lanes of the overbridge.

“This helped us to control the protesters for six hours straight, who are roughly 10,000 in number. It started around 12 noon and continued for 45 minutes and then for five hours continuously till 6 pm. Drones also helped us to check movement on the left and right side of the bridges and drop shells accordingly. We have enough ammunition to hold them and more can be called,” the official told the HT over phone.

Another official said drones have been provided to the district administration under Drone Imaging and Information Service of Haryana Limited (DRIISHYA) scheme of the Haryana government that was widely used to monitor and prevent stubble burning cases in the state last year and other security purposes.

DC Shaleen said, “The forces with the help of logistics available were able to prevent the farmers from breaking into the barricades and moving further. We will not allow them to enter Haryana.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Bhavey Nagpal is a staff correspondent based at Karnal. He reports on crime, politics, health, railways, highways, and civic affairs for northern Haryana districts.

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