Intelligence agencies have sounded an alert over the possibility of terrorist attacks on select leaders of the state belonging to BJP and RSS. Sources said Punjab Police have increased its vigilance in the state after the alert.
The intelligence tip-off comes at a time when there has been an isolated grenade blast outside the military station near Pathankot.
The alert also comes in the backdrop of Punjab Police’s claims that drones from Pakistan have been dropping explosives in the border areas packed in lunch boxes of school children. There have also been increased recoveries of arms and ammunition in the border areas in the past few months.
As a part of the increased vigil, the state police arrested Ranjit Singh of Sohal village in Tarn Taran accusing him of having links with foreign-based terrorist entities and planning a terror attack in Punjab. Two Chinese P-86 hand grenades and two pistols were also recovered from him.
Intelligence sources as well as Punjab Police officials said there have been credible inputs that there might be an attempt to cause violence in the state in the run up to the 2022 Assembly polls. “The increased number of drone sorties from across the border taking place along the international borders with Pakistan are a matter of concern. There have been concerns that consignments of arms may have been dropped in Indian territory to ferment trouble,” an official said.
Officials said security checks at RSS shakhas have been increased and that the intelligence inputs on threats to certain Hindu leaders have not been taken lightly. “There is already enough security provided to many such leaders in the state because of their vulnerability to such attacks. However, the existing security has also been beefed up,” an official confirmed.
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who holds the Home portfolio, had held a high-level security meeting Monday where he issued instructions to the police to increase night patrolling in order to further ensure the law and order is maintained in the state.
At least one third of the Gazetted Officers in each Commissionerate/District will be deputed to patrol as per the roster, who will be personally reviewed daily by the Deputy Chief Minister through video call.
Principal Secretary of the Home department Anurag Verma issued letters to the DGP, ADGP (Law & Order), Commissioners and SSPs asking them to follow the directions of the Deputy Chief Minister in true spirit.
He said the Commissioner and SSPs have also been asked to send a copy of the roster to the ADGP (Law & Order) who would compile the rosters of all districts and further send the copy to the Deputy Chief Minister, Home Secretary and DGP by 5 pm daily.
In the meantime, the Army launched its own investigations into the grenade blast at the military station near Pathankot in order to ascertain who carried out the blast and what kind of explosive was used. Experts from the Army Ordnance Corps and Military Intelligence have been involved in the investigation which is being carried out jointly with Punjab Police. Army officials are tight-lipped about the findings of the probe till now.