India’s Sashastra Seema Bal personnel in Kalpokhari arrested ten Nepali nationals on Sunday after they found a drone hovering over Indian Territory.
They have fund Nepali youths from Kalpokhari, Darjeeling, for flying drone ‘without proper documents and valid licence’. The chief judicial magistrate’s court in Darjeeling yesterday remanded the youths to judicial custody for a week.
The SSB then submitted a written complaint to Darjeeling Police, stating that Nepali youths were flying drone above the international border near Pillar No 58/3 and 58/4 without proper documents and valid licence, according to a statement issued by Darjeeling Police yesterday.
en Nepal nationals have been arrested after Sashastra Seema Bal personnel guarding the border at Kalpokhri in Darjeeling district found a drone hovering near their outpost in the Indian territory.
Kalpokhri is about 52km from Darjeeling and situated at 10,400ft.
Sources said an SSB jawan manning the Nepal frontier had noticed a drone hovering near an international pillar close to the force’s border outpost and well within the Indian territory around 10.30am on Sunday. The SSB then apprehended 10 Nepali citizens.
A written complaint was lodged with Sukhiapokhri police station on Monday, after which the 10 were arrested.“The Nepal nationals could neither produce the drone’s licence nor any training certificate,” said a police source.
The chief judicial magistrate’s court in Darjeeling on Tuesday remanded the 10 in jail custody for a week. “The case has also been handed over to the forest department as the crime was committed inside the Singalila National Park,” assistant public prosecutor Pankaj Prasad said.
The police seized the drone, along with a remote controller and a memory card.
The accused have been booked for endangering life, negligent conduct with respect to machinery, wilfully flying an aircraft in such a way that it may case danger to any person (section 11/11 of Air Craft Act 1934) and under various sections of the Wildlife Act.
A source said the Nepalese citizens had also violated guidelines and notification of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. “The DGCA makes it mandatory for all aerial vehicles, including drones, to be registered on the digital sky portal. Besides, they must have permits also,” said a source.
“During interrogation, the accused have confessed that they used the drone within the Indian territory,” said a source. The police and the foresters are trying to ascertain the motive behind the act, said the source.
“Since the youths also entered the national park area without acquiring prior permission, the case comes under the jurisdiction of the forest department and Wildlife Act,” Prasad said.
Divisional Forest Officer Jiju Jaesper told THT over phone from Darjeeling that the forest department would carry out an investigation after which they would ascertain charges to frame the youths.
According to Darjeeling Police statement, those arrested are Bigyan Gautam, 29, Biswas Ghimire, 25, of Arjun Dhara, Jhapa; Nishchal Karki, 23, of Garamani, Jhapa; Devindra Sitoula, 28, Kamal Subedi, 23, Dipan Goutam, 23, Animesh Bhattarai, 24, of Birtamod, Jhapa; Samay Rijal, 26, of Sitapaila, Kathmandu; Krishna Sapkota, 24, of Bharatpur, Chitwan and Subodh Tripati, 23, of Dhading.
The authorities also seized a remote-controlled drone (DJI Mavic Pro), a remote controller, a memory card (16 GB) and Realme-3 Pro smartphone, the statement said.
The accused have been booked for endangering life, showing negligence while using machinery, wilfully flying a drone in such a way that it may cause danger to any person (Section 11/11 of Aircraft Act-1934) and under sections of the Wildlife Act, according to a report published by The Telegraph.
During interrogation, the accused confessed that they ‘used the drone inside Indian territory’, The Telegraph quoted a police official as saying.