Many police departments in India have used drones to ensure security, law and order and aerial surveillance, but it’s the selected use of WhatsApp and Mini-drones by the security forces in ensuring that the elections were held peacefully in Jammu & Kashmir.
The Israeli-built Heron UAVs along with the Indian-built mini-drones of both the Indian Air Force and Indian Army were closely positioned for surveillance to monitor the polling booths in potential trouble zones.
The use of WhatsApp groups by the security forces helped uninterrupted communications and sharing up-to-the-minute information between the Joint Control Rooms (JCRs) manned by the police, Army and members of the Para-military CRPF and Police Control Rooms (PCRs).
The Herons were specifically deployed over highly-sensitive areas in the Kashmir Valley like Kupwara, Sopore, Hazratbal and Shopian.
The drones were operational till the Electronic Voting Machines were safely transported to the counting centers in vehicles that were being tracked from the air through real-time video data links from the drones to ground operators.
The four core groups to access the minute by minute information on the WhatsApp groups ensured that a three-tier security system was in place for each “hotspot”. The police were the role of first tier respondents, the CRPF formed the second tier and the Army manned the outer tier of defence.
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