Two back-to-back incidents of jobless youths climbing atop mobile towers have raised a big question mark on the security apparatus of the UT police, their Punjab counterparts and intelligence agencies as Sector 3, home to official residences of Punjab and Haryana chief ministers, has been declared as the “most sensitive” zone in Chandigarh.
Highly placed sources said the police in consultation with intelligence agencies in the region had recently compiled a list containing 62 vital installations (a copy of which is with Hindustan Times). It was drawn after terrorists struck at the Pathankot airbase earlier this year. Out of these high security buildings, nearly 20 fall within a radius of one kilometre of these two points where the breach took place.
These sensitive buildings include the Chandigarh Club, Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat, Rock Garden (being a top tourist point), Punjab and Haryana high court, Haryana Niwas, Punjab Raj Bhawan, Punjab Raj Bhawan, Haryana Raj Bhawan, Sukhna Lake Club, UT Guest House, Haryana Pradesh Congress office, Chandigarh police headquarters, UT Secretariat, Mini-Secretariat, Central Club, Museum and Art Gallery, PGI, Punjab Engineering College and Punjab Police headquarters.
The official residences of the CM of Haryana and Punjab are also within 900 metres from this place though these don’t fall in the most sensitive zone.
Alarmed by the attack on the Pathankot airbase in January this year and inputs by intelligence agencies of possible attacks in this region had prompted the local police to increase security in the city.
“Sixty two vital installations have been declared most sensitive buildings of Chandigarh from the point of view of terror attacks. Subsequently, sufficient security in these places is to be provided by Chandigarh police and other security agencies,” UT senior superintendent of police had said in a letter to the administration.
The police had shared other key details as well. Police officials say the role of ensuring security is divided among different agencies in the region. “For instance, the area around Punjab Bhawan is the responsibility of the UT police while Punjab police headed by an SP takes care of security inside Punjab Bhawan,” said an officer.
Experts say the breach by these five persons comes at a time when the police and security agencies had stepped up security in this highly sensitive zone which puts the ability of all these agencies under doubt. They say that fortunately these are only jobless teachers carrying bags who have climbed the towers.