Security on the Samjhauta Express, which connects New Delhi to the Pakistani city of Lahore, has been stepped up after a high alert was issued following the terror attack on an army base in north Kashmir’s Uri on Sunday.
Normally, 27 personnel of the Government Railway Police (GRP) are deployed at the Attari railway station in Punjab’s Amritsar district, now at least 20 more policemen have been posted there, sub-inspector Jaswinder Singh, in charge of security at the station, said.
Passengers and their baggage were being frisked with extra caution, the officer said.
However, there was no effect on the number of passengers who travelled by the Samjhauta Express, a bi-weekly train that runs from New Delhi to Attari on the border and then to Lahore.
On Monday, there were 130 passengers at the station who were to leave for Pakistan on this train. Railway personnel this is an average number of passengers.
On the other hand, 180 people came from Pakistan and a majority of them told Hindustan Times that they did not know about the recent terror attack.
“We are coming from Karachi. Because we were on the train, we did not hear the news about the attack,” Salman, a Pakistani national, said.
The Border Security Force (BSF), which has sounded an alert along the India-Pakistan border in Punjab, has heightened security at the Attari check post, where thousands of tourists come every day to witness the high-voltage retreat ceremony.
On Monday evening, there were tight security arrangements along the border but it did not stop Indian tourists to reach in large numbers and many failed to get a space in the gallery. Foreign tourists were also seen during the parade on the border.
“The terror attack took place at Uri which is far away from Punjab. As there is tight security on Punjab border, there is no need to fear. This sense of security among the tourists inspired them to watch the retreat ceremony with enthusiasm,” Yaman Gupta, who came from Haryana’s Panipat along with his family, said.
“Number of the tourists was hit during the Dinanagar terror attack. Terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir, where such a practice has become routine, has not affected the arrival of tourists here,” Balwinder Singh, a dhaba owner, said.
Heavily armed militants attacked the army base early on Sunday and killed 17 soldiers, triggering calls for a swift retaliation that could squeeze the space for any détente between India and Pakistan. Another soldier, who was injured in the attack, died on Monday.