Srinagar | Jammu- District authorities in Baramulla, Kupwara, Samba and Ramban in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday banned the storage, sale or possession of drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles.
Authorities in Srinagar and border districts of Rajouri and Kathua have already imposed such a ban after the recent militant attack at an IAF station in Jammu with armed drones.
In Baramulla and Kupwara, those having drone cameras or other similar kinds of unmanned aerial vehicles have been directed to deposit them in local police stations.
District Magistrates of twin north Kashmir districts in separate orders imposed restrictions/ban on the storage, sale, possession, use, and transport of drones/similar kinds of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles(UAVs) in the territorial jurisdiction of respective districts.
The orders state that the persons already having the drone cameras/similar kind of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVS) in their possession, shall ground the same in the local Police Station forthwith, under proper receipt.
Moreover, the order states that the Government Departments and agencies duly authorized by the competent authorities using drones/UAVs for mapping, surveys, surveillance in Agriculture, Environment Conservation and Disaster Mitigation sector shall inform the local Police Station before undertaking any such activity in public interest.
The orders refer to the Aircraft Act, 1934 and Civil Aviation Rules 2021, saying that there is a restriction on flying drones (UAV) in prohibited areas Viz; Within a distance of 3 Kilometers from the perimeter of any Civil, Private, Defence Airport, Military installations/facilities, State Secretariat complex and Within 02 kilometer from perimeter of strategic locations/vital installation besides over Eco-sensitive Zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
The District Magistrate (DM) of Ramban, Mussarat Islam, said the ban has been ordered in the wake of the frequent use of small drone cameras for capturing photos and videos in social and cultural gatherings and the risk of its use by anti-national elements.
According to the order, the move will help to avoid any confusion in the current situation to secure aerial spaces near vital installations and highly populated areas.
Any drone operating in the district needs to be registered. The owner of the drone and operator thereof shall be liable for all damages incurred, to person or property, due to mishandling or malfunctioning of drone or otherwise, the order stated.
In what was the first instance of militants deploying drones to strike vital installations, two bombs were dropped at the IAF station Jammu in the early hours of Sunday, causing minor injuries to two personnel.
The explosions took place at 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 the Satwari area on the outskirts of Jammu. The second one was on the ground. (with PTI inputs)
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