Four IAF bases, including Pathankot, put on orange alert after intel agencies warn of Jaish-e-Mohammad attack

IAF bases in Srinagar, Awantipora, Jammu, Pathankot, and Hindon have been put on high alert at orange level

FP Staff September 25, 2019 12:03:09 IST
Four IAF bases, including Pathankot, put on orange alert after intel agencies warn of Jaish-e-Mohammad attack
  • Jaish-e-Mohammad may be trying to target Indian Air Force bases in and around Jammu and Kashmir.

  • News agency ANI reported that IAF bases in Srinagar, Awantipora, Jammu, Pathankot, and Hindon have been put on high alert at orange level

  • Meanwhile, sources at the centre have suggested that MHA is apprised of the situation and the latest development is being looked into, very closely

A day after intelligence agencies reported Jaish-e-Mohammad has changed its name in an attempt to avoid international scrutiny, fresh inputs indicate that the terrorist group may be trying to target Indian Air Force bases in and around Jammu and Kashmir.

News agency ANI reported that IAF bases in Srinagar, Awantipora, Jammu, Pathankot and Hindon have been put on high alert at the orange level. Senior officers are reviewing security arrangements round the clock to tackle the threat. The alert has emanated after agencies monitored movements of Jaish terrorists, who, intel inputs suggest, will possibly try to carry out a suicide attack against IAF bases.

Four IAF bases including Pathankot put on orange alert after intel agencies warn of JaisheMohammad attack

File image of Pathankot air base. AFP

The orange alert is the second-highest level of alert second only to red alert which, if issued, would entail closing of schools in nearby areas and restriction on movements in airbases. Senior officers are reviewing security arrangements round the clock to tackle the threat, sources said.

The update comes close on the heals of Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat revealing that the Jaish-run terrorist training camp, destroyed by Indian Air Force's surgical strike, in Balakote has been reactivated.

"Let me tell you, Balakot has been reactivated by Pakistan very recently," Rawat said, a claim which was rubbished by Pakistan Army.

The inputs come in the backdrop of the recent flare-up between the two beleaguered neighbours.

Indian intelligence agencies have been flagging persistent attempts by terror groups — with the prompting of Pakistan military and its Inter-Service Intelligence —  to stage a major attack since the 5 August nullification of Jammu and Kashmir's special status.

On Sunday, Punjab Police had reported Pakistan-backed terrorist used drones to deliver weapons and communication hardware from across the border to four terrorists of Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF). Punjab shares a long border with Pakistan, and although there are no competing territorial claims like in Jammu and Kashmir, India has often accused its neighbour of militarising separatists to foment trouble for India.

Earlier in April this year, a Pakistani drone was spotted along the India-Pakistan border in the Khemkaran sector in Punjab but alert IAF officials deployed two Sukhoi-30 MKI jets to chase it away.

The recent incursion in Punjab drew sharp reactions from the state Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who sought urgent intervention from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Meanwhile, sources at the Centre have suggested that MHA is apprised of the situation and the latest development is being looked into, very closely. Even the security agencies in Jammu and Kashmir are looking at the new development.

IdeaForge, the makers of Netra, an indigenous group have recently been roped in to develop an anti-drone technology.

Last month, Pakistan had deployed its Special Service Group (SSG) commandos along the Sir Creek area in Gujarat. Security forces have eliminated several terrorists and foiled several infiltration bids over the past two months.

Early this year, tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a Jaish suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir's Pulwama district. Amid mounting outrage, the Indian Air Force carried out a counter-terror operation, hitting the biggest JeM training camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistan on 26 February.

With inputs from agencies

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