Hyderabad: To keep a check on criminal activities at secluded places away from human habitations and ensure safety of citizens, the police are now mulling the idea of using drones extensively for surveillance purpose.
The recent rape and murder of veterinary doctor in Shadnagar and few other incidents at secluded places has forced the police to explore newer methods of surveillance on anti-socials. The drone cameras would be used for surveillance at open land parcels along the highways, thick forest areas and isolated places in hilly areas, ‘dark spots’ as referred in police parlance, where criminal incidents usually get reported.
“We have plans to use drones for the purpose of surveillance. It will only be done after the required permission is obtained from the authorities concerned,” said a senior official of the Cyberabad police. A year ago, Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary IT, had said that the government is mulling the idea of using drones for security of women employees in the IT corridor.
Already the police in a few districts in the State are using drones for surveillance in Maoist affected areas for surveillance of Maoists movement. Also, these are used to check smuggling of forest resources and poaching, sand smuggling and for monitoring the isolated spots where gambling and other illegal activities take place.
V Satyanarayana, Commissioner, Ramagundam, said the drones are used for surveillance purpose as its saves lot of time and manpower. “During the elections in Maharashtra and the State as well, we used the drones to monitor the border areas and pockets of the districts where Maoists movement was reported earlier. We had successfully checked poaching activity and sand smuggling too,” he said.
The police with the help of drone reconnaissance, had also apprehended persons who were gambling and indulging in smuggling of sand and forest products in some districts.
The drones are also being used by the police at few places to check the route taken up by the VIP’s to prevent any untoward incidents. In recent incidents of violence reported in Delhi, the police there had successfully used drones to keep a check on the protest and identify the pockets where mobs gathered.
Private persons barred from flying drones
Flying of drones, para-gliders and remote-controlled micro-light aircraft by private persons is banned in the State. The ban was imposed few years ago after the intelligence agencies pointed out that such flying objects might be used by the terrorists to carry out attacks.
The police regularly issue notifications extending the ban on the use of such flying objects. Cases are booked against violators who flout the orders and cases under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), apart from other rules of the Indian Penal Code, a police official said.
However, non-government agencies, organisations or individuals are allowed to launch Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), Unmanned Aerial Survey (UAS) etc. only after obtaining appropriate clearance from local police and aviation authorities.