Even before the combing operations officially ended at the Pathankot air base following a three-long day gun battle with Pakistan-based terrorists, dramatic scenes unfolded outside the defence installation on Wednesday evening when a suspicious man carrying a bag tried to jump over the barricade in an attempt to enter the compound.
Panic gripped the entire area as gun-totting Garud commandos rushed towards the man and pinned him down awaiting for more forces to arrive. In no time, live images beamed all over with a huge media contingent already present there covering the air base attack. Personnel of the Punjab Police, National Security Guards and Army commandos arrived soon enough as the Garuds forced the man to lie on the ground and surrounded him aiming their guns on him from a point blank range.
Traffic on the highway that connects Jammu to Pathankot was also stopped immediately as the the crowd of curious onlookers kept on increasing.
However, after conducting a search, it was found that he did not pose any threat, Times Now reported.
Subsequently, police sources told CNN-IBN that the man could be mentally unstable. When the man was questioned by police personnel, he could not give coherent answers, the channel said.
Given the mood near the air base, the crowd that witnessed the whole action right in front of their eyes filled the air with patriotic slogans of 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' and with slogans praising the security forces.
A similar scare was witnessed on Tuesday after an explosion was heard at the air base ahead of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's scheduled interaction with the media there. However, sources later said that it was a controlled explosion and that it was part of the combing operations.
Seven security personnel were killed after terrorists stormed the air base on 2 January in Pathankot.
With inputs from PTI