Agencies on high alert in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Punjab and J&K; Delhi Police raids 24 locations
Indian security agencies sounded a high alert in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Punjab, and Jammu & Kashmir on Thursday after they claimed that four heavily armed fidayeen of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorist outfit sneaked into the national Capital to hit targets during the ongoing festive season to take revenge for the abrogation of Article 370.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and Intelligence Bureau chief Arvind Kumar attended a high-level meeting in the PMO following the alert. Intelligence inputs from American agencies too have alerted India of possible ISI-sponsored terrorist attacks.
In the wake of high grade threat perception, all major airports, ports, vital installations, important Government offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and other places have been put on high alert.
Interception of cellphone communication from the India-Pakistan border, arms dropping by drones from across the border into Punjab last month, and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt General Faiz Hameed’s recent tour of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, are three main reasons which prompted Indian security agencies to go on a high alert.
The ISI chief had last month toured PoK and held meetings with various outfits, including JeM commanders. The report said on pressure of the ISI chief, JeM mastermind Masood Azhar was released from preventive custody despite being on the UN list of wanted global terrorists.
Sources in the MHA said Home Minister Amit Shah has been apprised of the measures taken by the police force. The IB alerted to the Special Cell of the Delhi Police and the police chiefs of adjoining States on Wednesday night.
Agencies are concerned about possible activation of sleeper cells for terror attacks during the festivities when there is a high footfall at public places.
According to inputs received earlier by the agencies, the JeM has been plotting suicide attacks in Delhi and other installations, including Indian Air Force’s airbases, as a revenge for the abrogation of Article 370.
Indian Air Force bases in and around Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have been put on alert and security has been beefed up in Amritsar and Pathankot in Punjab and Srinagar and Leh.
The IB last week said JeM Commander in J&K Abu Usman held a meeting with the overground workers in an apple orchard near Mir Mohallah in Bandipore district and disclosed that people of the Valley will soon hear a “good news” of a big attack in Jammu and Delhi, sources said. One foreign terrorist and two Kashmiri militants were also reportedly present in the meeting. While the commander was armed with a sniper rifle, the three other terrorists carrying AK 47 rifles, pistols and grenades, according to the IB inputs.
Following the tip-off, the Delhi Police conducted raids at more than two dozen locations, including at Seelampur, Aya Nagar, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi Railway Station, Paharganj and certain areas of South Delhi. Several persons have been detained and are bring grilled to extract leads corroborate the inputs, officials said.
“Security has been beefed up across the national Capital. Raids are being conducted by the Special Cell and Crime Branch of the Delhi Police at several locations across the city after the intelligence inputs suggested that three to four members of a terror outfit may have infiltrated into the city,” said a senior police official.
“The Delhi Police has also intensified patrolling and picketing in several areas across the national Capital. All airports, Ramlila Maidan, railway stations, (Durga) Puja Pandals across the city have been put on high alert after the input. Passengers and pandal goers are requested to report any suspicious activity to the nearest Delhi police checkpoint,” the official further said.
Sources in security agencies said more than 60 militants have infiltrated in the country through Line of Control (LOC) and International Borders during last two months post defanging of Article 370 on August 5.
“Moreover, at least 16 new terrorist camps have been activated in the last month across the LoC by the Pakistan army-ISI combine, sending alarm bells ringing in the security establishment,” said a source.
Friday, 04 October 2019 | Shekhar Singh/Agencies | New Delhi
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