Panic gripped Punjab’s Gurdaspur town on Wednesday evening when residents of villages on the outskirts reported seeing two men in military fatigues acting suspiciously near an army cantonment.
Police cordoned off the area and enforced a blackout in all villages within a five-kilometre radius as the spot is a short distance away from the Pathankot air force base where six terrorists and seven Indian soldiers were killed in a days-long encounter that ended on Monday.
The local administration made announcements through loudspeakers at two gurdwaras about the presence of suspected Pakistani terrorists, with authorities saying they could target the Tibri military station.
The military facility has a large number of army establishments from various regiments as well as their families. It reportedly also has a large cache of arms, ammunition and explosives apart from tanks, cannons and military vehicles.
Witnesses said the two men were wearing dark sunglasses, were heavily armed and when confronted they hid in a nearby sugarcane field.
Gurdaspur deputy commissioner Abhinav Trikha, SSP Gurpreet Singh Toor and senior army officers rushed to the area to oversee a joint search.
“The local villagers informed us about two suspicious men in army fatigues close to the army cantonment area,” Toor told AFP.
“We have since launched a search operation along with the army in that area. We haven’t yet come up with anything but the search is still on.”
Officials also said army formations have been put on alert following reports that five terrorists have sneaked into the border area of Gurdaspur and Pathankot.