Police Seize Drone from Chinese National in Chennai, Question Him

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by J Sam Daniel Stalin

CHENNAI:  A Chinese national ran into trouble for flying a drone, apparently for fun, at Chennai’s popular Marina beach this evening. His drone was seized and he was taken to the nearby police station for questioning. He will be questioned again on Monday, said police sources.

Suqiang, 27, works for an electronic company that manufactures mobile spares at Sriperumbudur, said sources.

The police are yet to decide whether to book the man or not. In absence of proper regulations, flying a drone in India requires permission from the Director General of Civil Aviation or DGCA and the local police.

“He bought the drone via online retailer Amazon. He says that he didn’t know that it (flying a drone) was not allowed. He appears to have flown it only for fun,” a senior official told NDTV.

The DGCA is in the process of drawing up regulations for certification and operation of unmanned aircraft systems,

But till such regulations are issued, “no non-governmental agency, organisation or individual can launch an UAS in Indian civil airspace for any purpose, as per a DGCA notification,” Chennai Police Commissioner S George had earlier said.

Recently, a man was arrested in Chennai and his drone was seized following a complaint from a hotel. The drone, fitted with a camera, was intruding into the privacy of a foreign woman, the hotel management had claimed.

The locals, though, criticise the government’s decision to take action in the matter.

A businessman, who has an interest in aero modelling, said the police were “lagging behind technology” and were “ill-informed”.

The police can regulate the matter, but they can’t treat everyone as a suspect, he said. Also, “if there’s a ban on drones, how did the police use the same kind of drones recently during the investigation of a murder case in Chennai?” he added