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Posted at: Feb 15, 2018, 1:30 AM; last updated: Feb 15, 2018, 1:30 AM (IST)PATHANKOT DIARY

Security upped after Sunjuwan attack

Security upped after Sunjuwan attack
Pathankot SSP Vivek Sheel Soni
Minutes after militants attacked the Sunjuwan military camp, the ghost of the January 2, 2016 Pathankot air base blitzkrieg came back to haunt locals. To complicate matters, the rumour mills worked overtime and the cops had to work hard to kill all kinds of gossip floating all around the city. As the news of Sunjuwan reached the town, SSP Vivek Sheel Soni and his officers were the first off the blocks. The SSP convened an impromptu meeting with senior officers and moments later the Pathankot-Jammu highway became crowded with check posts. Starting from Madhopur, 7 km from Pathankot, nobody could drive into the town without being checked at least half a dozen times. Cops laid siege to both the cantonment and city railway stations and the bus stand. Passengers were taken off buses to be frisked. The air force station and the Manoon army dump, said to be one of the largest in the country, was cordoned off in double quick time.

Simultaneously, the BSF and cops intensified security near the international border. Particular emphasis was laid on the border near Bamiyal because this point is said to be vulnerable to infiltration. The Dinanagar attackers, it is learnt, entered India through this particular stretch.

The bus stand wore a deserted look and even the toy train, running from Jogindernagar till Pathankot, did not attract much passengers.

Interestingly, the Sunjuwan siege happened barely 24 hours after a top army officer visited the area to take stock of the readiness of his men. Lt General Surinder Singh of the Western Command spent two days reviewing the security apparatus in both Samba and Pathankot on February 8 and 9.

SSP Soni admitted that although the cops did not have any intelligence input of any terror related activity hitting Pathankot post Sunjuwan, yet the city was put on high alert as a precautionary measure. “We were not in a position to take chances. We work at a zero-risk level,” said the SSP.

Meanwhile, the Hindu fundamentalist organisations started doing what they do best. They started holding protests against Pakistan. Prominent among those who held a dharna was the Hindu Suraksha Samiti. Its activists burnt an effigy of Pakistan and urged the Indian military establishment to put an end to the reign of terror being perpetuated by Pakistan.

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