A few district police teams in Telangana are using drones, in some cases equipped with sirens, for surveillance and for keeping an eye out on lockdown violators. Since the Telangana Government imposed a lockdown across the state over 10 days ago, the state police have been actively using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) across three districts with the aim of enforcing the lockdown rules. Cops are using camera-mounted drones in the districts of Vikarabad, Suryapet and Mancherial to detect small gatherings, shops that are open and vehicles which ply on the road in violation of the 6am-10 am relaxation rule. While police officials in Vikarabad told MediaNama that the drones were used on an experimental basis once, police officials in Suryapet and Mancherial said that the drive has been going for days. Permissions for the drone flight has been obtained from State police authority, they said. A month ago, the Ministry of Civil Aviation exempted the Home Ministry and Union Territory/State Police from complying with the Unmanned Aerial System Rules 2021, which essentially meant that federal and state police would act as the designated agency to grant permission to various entities looking to operate drones. The police officials told MediaNama that cases are also being booked violators, detected with the help of drones. On the one hand, the UAVs detect the names of shops and, police officials can register cases against their owners, while on the other, the drones capture the registration number of vehicles which allows the police to identify…
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