Indian Police Control UAV Use

After Mumbai, the Pune city police have now banned the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) —drones for the layman — without seeking prior permission from the local police station. Cops fear that the unmanned aircraft could turn into weapons in the hands of terrorists.

Joint commissioner of police (Pune city) Sunil Ramanand told Mirror on Tuesday, “Drones can be misused in acts of terror. We don’t want unidentified objects flying around. We will grant permission liberally. Therefore, those who want to use a drone at any event must get a permission from the local police station.” He had issued a prohibitory order on Sunday, in keeping with provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code. “Nowadays, drones are being used at various sports and cultural events. We cannot rule out the possibility that these drones can be used for filming sensitive installations here. I passed the rule after it was brought to my notice that event organisers do not inform police before using drones,” he stressed.

Pune, being an important military station, has several army, air force and navy establishments, apart from defence labs. There are about 200 vital installations in the city. A security audit of the installations is jointly done every three months by the local police station, the Pune city police Special Branch, the State Intelligence Department (SID) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB). The concerned authorities are apprised of the loopholes and effective measures are suggested. “As the local police station has details of sensitive places, the permissions would be granted on a case to case basis,” a city police officer told Mirror.

Though drones have often been used by police and the defence forces, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and other agencies woke up to the need for regulation drones after a pizza company in Mumbai attempted to use a drone to deliver snacks to its client in May last year, prompting Mumbai Police to ban the use of drones. In October last year, the DGCA banned the use of drones till there are regulations for certification and operation of such unmanned aerial vehicles. When Mirror pointed this out, Ramanand said, “As of now, there is no law regarding drones. Therefore, we have issued a prohibitory order considering people’s safety and other security issues.”

Source: Pune Mirror

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