HAVING BEEN kept on their toes by a spate of terror alerts issued by intelligence agencies and ‘suspicious activity’ being reported by the public in wake of the Pathankot terror attack, the local police are now accusing the media of spreading panic .
“Our every word is under scrutiny. We don’t know what to say and what not to. Someone from the media would call us and ask if there is an alert. I would say yes, we have been alerted and it would make front page news the next day,” said Pathankot SSP R K Bakshi.
The Pathankot police had recently asked organisers to keep Shivratri celebrations low profile at a famous temple in Kataruchack village as there was an alert of a possible terror attack. Similarly, the BSF issued a terror alert last week about suspicious movement near the border.
Reacting to alert, DIG border range Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh had said that he was not aware of a specific threat but was still forced to spend the week at his camp office in Bamial sector of Pathankot. The police also had to contend with a hoax call of a bomb at the Pathankot railway station on Republic day.
It has almost become routine for police to gets calls of the public having spotted ‘suspected terrorists.’ The Gurdaspur police had launched weeklong search operations to locate terrorists, allegedly seen by farmers in sugarcane fields around the Army camp in Tibri village.
“People are vigilant and they informed us about any suspicious movements. People often mistake real army men for terrorists. We wasted four hours when a newspaper converted similar information by an old lady into sensational news. We had to parade real army men in front of that lady to defuse the situation,” Bakshi said.