November 23, 2021 8:00:17 am
A grenade blast occurred near the gate of the Army cantonment in Pathnakot, following which an alert was sounded in the border district, police Monday said. No casualty was reported in the incident that took place Sunday night and was termed a “terror attack” by the police.
Some unidentified motorcycle-borne miscreants hurled the grenade in front of the Triveni Dwar of the military area near Dheerapul. “A jawan standing on duty at the gate saw the bike before the blast,” a police spokesperson said, adding so far no arrest has been made.
“The CCTV footage is being analysed,” said Senior Superintendent of Police, Pathankot, Surendra Lamba.
Asked what kind of grenade was used in the attack, Director General of Police Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota told PTI, “It was a Chinese-made P-86 grenade.”
After the blast, an alert was sounded in Pathankot and nearby areas. Checking of vehicles was intensified at various points in and around the district.
A case under relevant sections of the Explosives Act has been registered in connection with the incident, the police said.
The Pathankot police and Army personnel conducted a search operation near the border area under Narot Jaimal Singh police station after some villagers claimed to have noticed some suspicious people on Sunday.
After information was received, the search operation was conducted with the help of a drone, a police official said.
Notably, the Pathankot Air Force base was attacked by terrorists in January 2016. Another terror attack took place at a police station in Dinanagar in neighbouring Gurdaspur district in July 2015.
on Monday, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said he has called a meeting of senior officers of the Amritsar border zone and the Jalandhar zone on Tuesday to review the law and order situation and security in the state. Randhawa, who also holds the home portfolio, also issued strict instructions to the police to increase night patrolling in the state.
At least one-third of the gazetted officers in each commissionerate or district will be deputed for patrolling according to a roster.
In a statement, Randhawa said that it has come to his notice that adequate police patrolling was not being carried out during the night. He said at least one-third of the officers should be on patrolling duty during the night and “I can randomly check the location of the duty officer at any time by making a video call to the concerned”.
Security of the state will not be compromised at any cost and strict action will be initiated against negligent officers, he said.
Principal Secretary, Home, Anurag Verma, meanwhile, issued letters to the senior officials concerned asking them to follow the directions of the Deputy CM.
On September 30, citing “current security scenario”, the DGP Sahota had directed all the SSPs to start night domination operations along the India-Pakistan international border from 9 pm to 4 am. The border districts of Punjab include Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Batala, Amritsar Rural, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur and Fazilka.
The DGP had asked border district SSPs to “give special attention to drones and suspicious people moving in the vulnerable areas”.
He had also ordered SSPs to utilise all police control room and rapid rural police response vehicles and bullet proof material to cover vulnerable places, besides activating all the control rooms.
Sahota had said, “All nakas in the second line of defence, and other sensitive locations ought to be manned at night under the supervision of a non-gazetted officer, while additional nakas should be put-up on ancillary roads for checking of vehicles.”
The DGP had also directed that “inter-state nakas, especially on the Jammu and Kashmir border, be strengthened and all vehicles coming from J&K be thoroughly checked.”
Incidentally, Sunday’s blast was the second such incident in the state this month. Earlier a similar blast had been reported at CIA office of Navanshahr on November 8. So far police have made no arrest in that case either. No injury was reported in the Navanshahar blast .
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