The security agencies were on their toes again in Pathankot on Sunday morning after intelligence inputs from the technical wing in Delhi about a telephone call to Pakistan from Katruchak village near here.
After the alert was sounded, Punjab Police SWAT (special weapons and tactics) team and other cops surrounded the village and launched a search operation in the surrounding forest area for the mystery caller. Pathankot senior superintendent of police RK Bakshi and, later, additional director general of police (law and order) Hardeep Dhillon and deputy inspector general (border range) Kunwar Vijay Partap joined the operation. “There is nothing for the people to fear. We are in, and we are capable of dealing with any situation,” the DIG told a news agency.
The Mahashivratri fair at Chat Pat Bani near Katruchak was put on hold and heavy security deployed around the historical temple where a huge number of pilgrims have gathered for the festival on Monday. The disappointed devotees of Lord Shiva, who had planned to spend two days at the temple, cursed the neighbouring country and called for decisive action against it. The temple is only 2 km from where the telephone call to Pakistan was made. On Saturday, western army commander lieutenant general KJ Singh had talked about “disturbing inputs” about a terrorist plot to strike during the Mahashivratri festival and the ongoing Parliament session.
Lal Singh, husband of Kataruchak sarpanch Urmila Devi, said the Mahashivratri festival drew devotees from far-off places and now 150-odd security personnel had cordoned off the area where they were to gather. On March 2, an alert was sounded at Pathankot villages after Border Security Force (BSF) spotted three-to-five men on the Pakistani side who were preparing to cross the fence.
At the time of filing this report, even the army and the air force had been put on high alert. Katruchak is only a few kilometres from the railway line of Dinanagar, where Pakistani terrorists had planted a heavy amount of RDX explosive before attacking the Dinanagar police station on July 27 last year. Local vendor Ram Lal said security agencies had got all vendors in Pathankot to wind up their business. After the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase in January, security agencies are taking every intelligence input seriously. (with inputs from agencies)