Cities, towns near border put on high alert
Police in India’s major cities and towns bordering Pakistan were put on heightened alert on Thursday for possible reprisal attacks in response to the crossborder strike carried out by the Army.
In Delhi, the anti-terror unit, emergency response vehicles and SWAT teams were asked to be on guard. In the evening, barricades were also placed at major roads with security personnel checking every suspicious vehicle.
Home ministry sources said national security adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval spoke to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Delhi police commissioner asking them to be on high alert. “We have been told to be on high alert. Not just the surgical attack but this is also a festival season. For the past few days, we are in the field in morning and evening rush hours,” said a senior police officer.
The Union home ministry also asked Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir to move to safer locations people living within 10km of the border or line of control, the de facto border with Pakistan.
The ceremonial beating retreat ceremony at the Wagah border was called off, BSF sources said. The flag was lowered in the evening but without the usual fanfare as locals and tourists who were turned away, sources said. The BSF, officials said, had restricted all civilian movement along the border.