A nationwide advisory has been issued by the home ministry to “maintain high levels of vigil to thwart any attempts by terrorists to strike back.” This comes a day after the Indian army conducted “surgical strikes” on terror launch pads along LoC on Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). The BSF has been asked to use “full force” to defend the border in case of ceasefire violations by Pakistan.
A senior IB officer said (Indian Express) said, “While the next 10-15 days will be particularly crucial, the highest level of alertness will be necessary until the end of October. This is a particularly sensitive time as the festival season is approaching. Border states such as J&K, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab, as well as the metros, have been cautioned through an advisory. Coastal security measures have been stepped up, too.”
Retaliatory attacks are feared after the surgical strikes and hence the ministry is keen on stepping up the security and vigil arrangements. Also those who have already infiltrated are the biggest threat, “As per our assessments, around 85-90 terrorists have infiltrated this year. This is our biggest threat at the moment,” said the official.
On Friday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the security situation during an hour-long meeting with senior officials, including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi. He instructed officials to ensure that the highest level of alert is maintained to foil any such bid. In a separate meeting, he also reviewed issues relating to the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) deployed along the India-China border.
The BSF, meanwhile, has already put its units on high alert, and has been instructed to assist the local administration in evacuating civilians from villages along the LoC, said officials. Two more battalions have been rushed to the Jammu border in addition to around 15 battalions on the 190-km stretch, they said.