Pathankot on terror alert, combing operations on

28 September 2016

Security forces on Tuesday started conducting massive search operation in Punjab's Pathankot district following reports of suspicious movement of people wearing army uniforms, in a sign that India is not yet fully prepared to fight terrorism.

High alert was sounded in Pathankot following inputs about suspicious movement of armed men in army fatigues with Punjab Police launching a massive search operation near army base area located alongside Pathankot-Dalhousie road.

The state police has launched a massive search in around 4-5 km area near army cantonment alongside Dalhousie road, police said.

"There was a specific input about the presence of some suspicious men roaming around on Pathankot-Dalhousie Road. Following this, a massive search operation has been launched here," said Pathankot Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Rakesh Kaushal.

Kaushal added that the area has been cordoned off in order to locate the suspects.

The search operation underway includes about 400 security personnel along with the SWAT team of Punjab Police. Apart from the police, the Indian Army has also been keeping vigil.

Searches were also conducted near Chakki river, police said. Himachal Pradesh police was also issued an alert about the suspicious movement and also conducted a search in its area, police said.

The search operation that went on for five hours, was, however, suspended during the night with police saying it would resume tomorrow.

Punjab Police and BSF had jointly carried out search operation and flag march in villages near Indo-Pak border on 25 September to thwart any attempt by intruders coming from across the border.

An alert was also sounded in the border districts of Pathankot and Gurdaspur in the wake of terror strike on an Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir last Sunday (See: Militants storm Indian Army base in Uri, kill 17 soldiers). India, it seems, has not fully succeeded in safeguarding its defences despite two attacks by Pakistani terrorists the Uri attack that claimed 18 soldiers and the earlier attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in January this year which three soldiers and four attackers were killed (4 terrorists, three security men killed in attack at IAF base). Earlier, in July 2015, three armed terrorists in army fatigues had stormed a police station at Dinanagar in Gurdaspur killing seven persons, including a superintendent of police. The recurring attacks by terrorists from across the border only shows that this country is inn-equipped to fight terror.

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