The Border Security Force (BSF) is probing whether the Chinese drone found by a farmer in his field along the India-Bangladesh international frontier in West Bengal was being “misused” for trans-border crimes. The South Bengal frontier of the border force headquartered in Kolkata issued a statement on Saturday, saying it has approached the local police station in Petrapole, North 24 Parganas district, to take custody of the black quadcopter model ‘S500’ to get it forensically examined.

“The drone is manufactured in the Peoples Republic of China and it was found by farmer Pankaj Sarkar in his farmland in Purbapara (North 24 Parganas district) around 6 am on March 19.”

“The farmland is about 300 meters from the international border. The farmer picked up the broken drone and handed it over to the officials of the local Petrapole police station,” the BSF said.

BSF troops from the nearby border post Kalyani reached the spot but as they could not gather much details and the drone, the force approached the police.

It was found that the drone does not have a camera. No one has claimed it till now, the BSF said.

“We are investigating whether the drone was misused as part of a conspiracy to breach border security or for trans-border smuggling,” it said.

The force said it tried to gather information about the drone and found that a resident of Kalyani village and his son reportedly saw an unidentified flying object, emitting flash lights, coming from the adjoining Bangaon village side, and it crashed around 10 pm on March 18.

While security agencies like the BSF and others, deployed along India’s Western front along Pakistan, are grappling with the emerging threat of drones carrying arms, ammunition and drugs or undertaking surveillance sorties at that front, this is probably the first time when such a suspicious flying object was found along the eastern front with Bangladesh.

A probe will establish if this was some nefarious drone activity or if someone was just playing around with the unmanned aerial vehicle, a senior officer told PTI.

West Bengal shares about 2,217 kms our of the total 4,096 kms of the India-Bangladesh border. The South Bengal frontier of the BSF is tasked to guard over 913 kms of the West Bengal portion and it is marked by multiple riverine bodies, the mangrove area in Sunderbans and other difficult terrain areas.

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