To keep a tab on the movement of drones, a new emerging threat, and cross-border smuggling, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has sanctioned Rs 20 crore for the installation of CCTV cameras at strategic locations along the international border, Special Director General of Police (DGP), Arpit Shukla, said on Wednesday.

DGP Gaurav Yadav has also declared a reward of Rs 1 lakh for providing information about drone movements for the seizure of weapons and narcotics, he said.

The Special DGP, accompanied by BSF IG (Frontier Headquarters) Atul Fulzele, was in Khasa in Amritsar district to hold a joint coordination-cum-review meeting to further strengthen the security along the border to prevent cross-border smuggling.

The meeting was held in the backdrop of seizure of 15 kg narcotics by the BSF on Tuesday after shooting down a drone near the international border in Amritsar sector.

DIG (Border Range) Narinder Bhargav and DIG (Ferozepur Range) Ranjit Singh Dhillon, along with four DIGs and four Commandants of the BSF, were among the senior officials who attended the meeting.

Giving a call for greater synergy and teamwork between the BSF and Punjab Police, Special DGP Shukla said it is high time that both the elite forces work in tandem to counter the drone operations on the borders, which have emerged as the new threat.

He also stressed the need to carry out evidence-based and proactive policing to prevent smuggling of narcotics and weapons into Punjab from across the border.

The Special DGP asked the Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) of the border districts to intensify the police force as a second line of defence which will help prevent the collection of contraband dropped by drones on the Indian side of the border.

He also discussed the strategic locations and hotspots in the border villages to install CCTV cameras to keep vigil on Indian nationals involved in cross-border smuggling.

Shukla asked the BSF officials to share inputs of movements of suspected persons with the police so that they can keep a sharp vigil on their activities and ensure penal action against those found involved in any criminal activity.

He also proposed to activate village defence committees in the border areas to counter the nexus between smugglers and criminals.

"These committees will work as eyes and ears of the police and supplement the efforts of the police to wipe out drugs, terrorists and gangsters from the border state," said Shukla.

At the meeting, deliberations on various aspects of crimes taking place in the bordering area with support from across the border were made and a mutual agreement was reached to enhance the operational posture of the BSF and the police, an official statement by the BSF said.

The emerging trends of terrorist-gangster-smuggler-criminal nexus, sensitive issues like drugs trafficking, capacity building in the bordering areas, and fast exchange of actionable information on real-time basis were also deliberated upon.

The BSF and Punjab police are committed to continue with their efforts to secure the borders and safeguard the interest of the citizens, the statement added.

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