Tirunelveli, Jul 28 : The Indian Space Research Organisation’s Propulsion Research Centre (IPRC) at Mahendragiri in Tirunelveli district has been kept on high alert after the sighting of drones flying twice over the prohibited airspace of the complex from Friday midnight to the early hours of Saturday.
Police said here on Sunday that one of the sentries of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) guarding the IPRC spotted a drone entering the aerial space over the complex around 11.50pm of Friday and leaving after a few minutes. A similar object was reportedly spotted by the armed sentries at the main and outer gates of the IPRC in the wee hours of Saturday. The incident was immediately reported to the Unit Commander (in-charge) of CISF, who confirmed the flying object to be a drone after investigation.
The CISF alerted its unit at ISRO’s Thumba Centre near Thiruvananthapuram, ISRO headquarters at Bengaluru and the Indian Air Force (IAF) detachment at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in Tirunelveli, where the IAF had deployed around 150 personnel with anti-aircraft batteries to neutralize possible air strikes. The CISF personnel were instructed to keep a close watch on the aerial movements and were told to inform the authorities about any suspicious aerial movements in their respective locations.
Besides, the CISF have lodged a complaint with Panagudi and nearby Aralvaimozhi police stations about the sighting of drones over the premises.
Since the IPRC involved in research and development of Cryogenic and semi-Cryogenic propulsion systems, assembly, integration and testing of engines of GSLV launch vehicles, the entire complex situated on the Western Ghats has been declared a ‘high security zone.’
Earlier, similar incident of sighting of drone over IPRC was reported on December 14 midnight in the year 2015, following which the police and forest personnel conducted a massive combing operation inside the deep forests of Western Ghats. However, no breakthrough was made in the case. (UNI)