Arjun Sharma | Aug 13, 2019 | 4 min read
Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab: As intelligence agencies suggested a possible attack by Pak-based terrorist groups during the Independence Day, security agencies have put most vulnerable regions such as Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab on high alert. Operation alert exercises are however underway from August 7 to August 21 on the western border to foil any infiltration bid.
All the key airports of the country have been put on high alert by Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.
Punjab has received specific inputs regarding a possible terror attack after which security on railway stations across the state has been beefed up. The alert is being taken seriously by the authorities in wake of separatist propaganda by Pakistan and arrest of many Kashmiri terrorists from educational institutions in Punjab last year.
Security at railway stations in Ludhiana, Patiala, Jalandhar and Bathinda has been strengthened and frisking has become a routine affair. Senior police officials of these districts are also making rounds of the railway stations regularly so that no stone is left unturned regarding security.
One of the main cities of the state, Ludhiana is in the focus from where not only trains to different states run but it also houses some of the top industrial units and even military cantonments. Metal detectors and additional Railway Police Force have been deployed at the Ludhiana railway station.
Mohali that is a neighboring city to Punjab’s capital Chandigarh and home to IT industry has also been placed under security. Many check-posts have been installed in the city to keep a tab on the incoming vehicles, especially from other states.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police of Ludhiana Gurpreet Singh Sikand said that checking at railway station will continue till August 15.
Sikand said, “We have at least 250 personnel who will keep an eye on the railway station in Ludhiana till August 15. This is a special checking, and police are not ignoring any aspect keeping an eye minutely. We are also asking the visitors at railway station the reason for their visit to Ludhiana”
He also clarified that inspection is not specifically regarding the abrogation of Article 370 and its fallout but due to August 15 and festival of Eid that is approaching.
It has been reliably learnt that the police in all districts have received instructions from the police headquarters to intensify the security arrangements.
On the other hand Railway Protection Force (RPF) has also beefed up the security. RPF has stationed men not only on the platforms but also inside trains to keep a check on passengers.
The Khalistan connection
Punjab being a border state with Pakistan has been subjected to propaganda by the neighboring country in the past. Pakistan has in the recent past also made a major push for the Khalistani movement. Many Khalistani separatists were seen in videos and pictures in November last year during the foundation laying of Kartarpur corridor, a road that will allow Sikhs on the Indian side to visit a shrine related to the memories of first Sikh master Guru Nanak Dev in Kartarpur of Pakistan.
Punjab police had increased its vigil even at the institutions where Kashmiri students are studying in the state. Three Kashmiris were arrested with AK-47 and explosives from an educational institution in Jalandhar in October last year. In April this year, another Kashmiri student was arrested from Central University at Bathinda on basis of terror links.
Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh had from time to time stated that Pakistan was trying to spread terrorism in the state.
J&K tightens security
In the backdrop of the prevailing situation in Jammu & Kashmir, the General Officer Commanding in Chief, Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh chaired a meeting of the Core Group of Intelligence and Security agencies at Srinagar to review the operational readiness to meet any contingency that could adversely impact the security situation in J&K. He stated that necessary security arrangements had been put in place for ensuring peace and security.
According to an army spokesperson, Singh highlighted that during the past few days, Pakistan had intensified its efforts at increasing strength of terrorists in launch pads along the Line of Control, initiating ceasefire violations and trying to push infiltrators across the LoC. The army is also keeping an eye over the hate campaign on social media by Pakistan.
The Army Commander also stated that security forces were maintaining a high state of alertness and readiness to counter any inimical designs.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan after the abrogation of Article 370 had stated that Pulwama like attacks could take place on security forces in J&K after which a close eye is being kept on the highway where columns of security forces are frequently moving these days.
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