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NIA takes over probe into drone attacks on Jammu air force station

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is going to probe the drone attacks on the Jammu air force station. The decision to transfer the probe has been taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs a day after the elite counter-terrorism unit submitted a preliminary report of the incident to the ministry.

The NIA team, led by SP Rakesh Balwal, was among the first at the scene of the twin blasts in the high security technical area of the Jammu airport in the wee hours of Sunday.

The drone attacks

In a first instance of Pakistan-based terrorists deploying drones to strike vital installations, two bombs were dropped at the IAF station in Jammu airport in the early hours of Sunday, causing minor injuries to two IAF personnel.

The explosions took place around 1.40 am within six minutes of each other. The first blast ripped off the roof of a single-storey building at the technical area of the airport manned by the IAF in Satwari area on the outskirts of the city. The second one was on the ground.

Terror attack

J&K’s director general of police Dilbag Singh has termed the incident a “terror act” and said the police and other agencies were working with IAF officials to unravel the plan behind the attack.

Drones cannot be detected by radars deployed at border areas to monitor enemy activity, the officials said, suggesting that a different radar system that can detect drones as small as a bird be installed. The drones dropped the explosive material and were either flown back across the border or to some other destination during the night, the officials said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police had registered an FIR under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, officials said, indicating that the case was likely to be taken over by the NIA. “The NIA is already supervising the investigation at the scene of the blast after joining the probe,” one of the officials had said Sunday.

The FIR was also registered under relevant sections of the Explosive Substances Act and the Indian Penal Code at the Satwari police station on the application of a junior warrant officer of the IAF, he said.

14 km distance from international border

The aerial distance from the Jammu airport to the international border is 14 km. Jammu airport is a civil airport with the runway and the air traffic control under the IAF.

 

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