IAF Air Strike in Balakot: Alert level raised in Punjab border districts, Gujarathttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/guj-on-high-alert-after-iaf-strikes-destroy-jem-camp-in-pak-5601489/

IAF Air Strike in Balakot: Alert level raised in Punjab border districts, Gujarat

The developments come in the wake of the air strike launched by the IAF on Tuesday morning across the Line of Control. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the target was chosen to avoid civilian casualties.

Security increased at Railway stations in Mumbai. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Hours after the Indian Air Force conducted a non-military preemptive strike in Balakot targeting the biggest terror camp of Jasih-e-Mohammad, a high alert has been raised in Gujarat and Punjab’s border districts.

PTI reported that Gujarat’s Director General of Police Shivanand Jha cancelled a conference on crime-related issues scheduled in Gandhinagar and asked all officers who reached here to attend it to return to their respective headquarters in view of the alert sounded in the state. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, meanwhile, is likely to visit the border areas from Pathankot to Ferozepur by road on Wednesday.

The developments come in the wake of the air strike launched by the IAF on Tuesday morning across the Line of Control. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the target was chosen to avoid civilian casualties. He said the camp, located in thick forests on a hilltop away from civilian areas, was run by Maulana Yusuf Azhar, brother-in-law of JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar. The airstrikes in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir is the first time Indian Air Force has been used in Pakistan controlled air space after the 1971 war.

Punjab put on high-alert, CM to visit border areas

In Punjab, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has 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 LoC. DCs and SSPs of the border areas have been asked to put in place all contingency plans to ensure the protection and safety of the citizens. The Chief Minister will himself be visiting 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 the CM. The meeting found no need for panic and decided against any move to evacuate the residents of the border areas.

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

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The strike was carried out by IAF Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft. (File)

Gujarat Police raise alert level in state

The Gujarat Police has also sounded a high-alert across the state. PTI reported that Gujarat’s Director General of Police Shivanand Jha cancelled a conference on crime-related issues scheduled at the Police Bhavan in Gandhinagar and asked all officers who reached here to attend it to return to their respective headquarters in view of the alert sounded in the state. “In view of the action on terrorists across the border by IAF, all establishments have been put on high alert,” a message from DGP’s office to the district headquarters said. “The conference scheduled for today here at this office stands cancelled and all officials are requested to return to their headquarters,” it added.

Mumbai on alert

The Maharashtra Legislature Tuesday congratulated the Indian armed forces for carrying out air strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan. In the Assembly, a resolution was moved by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who lauded the Indian Air Force for its bravery. It was passed unanimously. “We feel proud of our armed forces which did not allow martyrdom of our jawans to go in vain. We proved our might,” PTI quoted him as saying.
Alluding to possible retaliation by Pakistan, Fadnavis said, “Mumbai is always on high alert and citizens need not panic”.

Forces on alert in Jammu along LoC

The situation was peaceful along 190 km long International Border (IB) in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts as well with no reports of ceasefire violations, Border Security Force (BSF) officials said. “There is no ceasefire violation anywhere (along IB) today. The border is peaceful, but alertness is being maintained,” a BSF officer said. “The situation is peaceful along the LoC in J&K. There are no reports of any untoward incident reported from anywhere,” the officer told PTI.

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