India braces for retaliation after strikes, western states put on high alert | india-news | Hindustan Times
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India braces for retaliation after strikes, western states put on high alert

india Updated: Oct 01, 2016 01:20 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times
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Tight security put in place at outside home ministry, North Block in New Delhi during an all-party meeting after Indian Army's surgical strikes along the LoC on Thursday. (Virendra Singh Gosain/HT Photo)

Fearing tit-for-tat retaliation from Pakistan-based terrorist groups post Indian cross-LoC strike, home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday reviewed country-wide security measures, particularly in Kashmir, with reports of an eight-strong fidayeen (suicide) squad sneaking into Srinagar.

All western states bordering Pakistan have been placed on alert with state chief secretaries instructed not to go on leave.

Authoritative sources said that the government was expecting a retaliation from Pakistan with the target being Indian Army establishments in Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi.

On Thursday, the security agencies issued an alert about a possible suicide attack by Pakistani jihadists in Srinagar, with security forces as target.

Singh discussed all possible measures with senior officials, including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and intelligence chiefs.

The home ministry assessment is that after the Indian Army inflicted serious and large scale casualties by attacking the terrorist launch pads in Jammu and Kashmir, terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed may activate their border action team for retaliation.

Security agencies expect Pakistani border action along the LoC in Machhil, Nowgam, Mendhar and Rajouri sectors — where the Indian Army destroyed seven terrorist forward staging locations.

There was firing by unknown militants on a CRPF-J&K police check post on Shopian-Kulgam road on Friday evening with no casualties.

While the security forces have gone on high alert in Jammu and Kashmir, Singh also reviewed security arrangements in the Indian hinterland, particularly in New Delhi and Mumbai.

Senior officials of the home ministry have issued instructions to Delhi and Mumbai police to ensure that any terrorist action in the form of indiscriminate firing or bombs is either prevented or foiled.

The Indian Army and defence establishments in the Capital have been particularly secured so that they are not targeted by terrorists to avenge the cross-LoC strike.