Punjab border areas on high alert after IAF strikes

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Chandigarh, Feb 26: Punjab put its border districts on high alert on Tuesday following the air strikes by the Indian Air Force (IAF) across the Line of Control, undertaken by India as a retaliatory measure for the February 14 Pulwama terror attack.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered a spate of measures as part of the state’s preparedness to deal with any contingency in view of the latest developments at the Line of Control (LoC).

Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) of the border areas have been asked to put in place all contingency plans to ensure the protection and safety of the citizens.

Punjab shares a 553-km long international border with Pakistan which is barbed wire fenced inside Indian territory.

The Chief Minister will visit the border areas from Pathankot to Ferozepur by road on Wednesday, an official spokesperson announced after a high-level law and order review meeting, chaired by Amarinder Singh.

“The meeting found no need for panic and decided against any move to evacuate the residents of the border areas,” the spokesperson said.

The Chief Minister discussed all aspects of the current situation with the top brass of the police and civil administration, including Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Home Secretary N.S. Kalsi, DGP Dinkar Gupta and DGP Intelligence V.K. Bhawara.

The chief minister’s Media Advisor, Raveen Thukral, who was also present at the meeting, said that Amarinder Singh directed officials to monitor the situation closely and not let down their guard under any circumstances.

“The state government is in touch with the Union Home and Defence ministries to remain abreast of the situation. The government was fully prepared to deal with any eventuality,” Thukral said.

The Chief Minister also spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the situation and offered his full support for the air strikes in a tweet.

“Great job by the #IndianAirForce. The #IAFStrikes have sent the much needed signal to Pakistan and the terrorists it’s harbouring – don’t think you can get away with acts like the #PulwamaAttack. Bravo to the #IAF men and my full support for the action,” Amarinder wrote.

Immediately after the deadly Pulwama attack on a Central Reserve Police Force convoy in which 40 troopers were killed, Amarinder Singh had made it clear that he was in favour of strong retaliatory action and that the Congress would support any course of action decided by the Central government.

“They have killed 41, we should kill 82 of theirs,” he had said.

 

Amarinder Singh had also said that if Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan could not arrest the Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, who was operating from Pakistani soil, then “we will do it for him.” (AGENCIES)

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