Republic Day terror alert: Why Delhi cops are looking for ‘suspicious animals’
Watch out for stray animals wandering on roads and public places that look “suspicious” as those can be used as “suicide bombers” by terrorists to carry out terror strikes during the Republic Day celebrations, Delhi Police has warned in an advisory.
Animals like dogs, cats, goats and cows are usually considered ‘harmless’, but Delhi Police’s anti-terrorist squad, Special Cell, issued the advisory to its 78,000-plus police personnel and asked them to watch out for any “suspicious” animal.
In the advisory issued on Wednesday, Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, deputy commissioner of police (special cell), said, “According to a reliable input, terrorists may use animals as suicide bombers to attack during the Republic Day celebrations.”
All police personnel have been asked to take help from civic agencies to keep animals away from the main venue as well as the route of the parade.
HT has a copy of the letter, which was forwarded to the commissioner of police and 44 other senior police officials, including all special commissioners, joint commissioners and the 13 district DCPs.
A senior police officer on the condition of anonymity said station house officers (SHOs) of all the 190 police stations have been asked to alert their staff about the advisory and ask them to look out for animals wandering on roads and public places.
“The staff have been asked to take help from animal catchers and NGOs that rescue street animals to spot and catch such animals. This message has been conveyed to all our staff and they have been asked to remain alert till the completion of the Republic Day celebrations on Thursday,” the officer said.
Police sources said the personnel have also been asked to prepare a list of recent cases that involved theft of pet animals.
Police officials believe some pets could have been stolen by terrorists for the purpose of carrying out terror strikes during the Republic Day celebrations in Delhi.
“Investigating officers of such cases have been asked to give status reports to their SHOs through whom those will be sent to the concerned district DCPs,” said the source.