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Pathankot on alert after 2 suspicious men in fatigues spotted

Vehicle later found parked in nearby village; Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir border sealed.

punjab Updated: Apr 17, 2018 10:21 IST
Vinay Dhingra
Vinay Dhingra
Hindustan Times, Pathankot
Punjab border,Punjab-Pakistan border,carjacking
The car, in which a man from the Gujjar community gave lift to two persons wearing army fatigues, parked at a police station in Pathankot on Monday.(HT Photos)

Security forces launched a search operation in the Bamyal sector of Pathankot district along the India-Pakistan border after a man belonging to the Gujjar community claimed to have spotted two suspicious persons in army fatigues late Sunday night.

The complainant claimed to have given lift to the two men in his car at 11pm to drop his relative but abandoned the vehicle soon after he found the two suspicious.

The incident took place in the same area where four Pakistani terrorists had snatched the car of Punjab superintendent of police (SP) Salwinder Singh and later stormed the Pathankot airbase in January 2016, killing seven security personnel before being gunned down.

Maskin Ali said the two stopped his Maruti Alto car (PB35AC2833) when he was going from Bamyal village to Fatehpur (both in Bamyal sector) and asked to drop them at some distance where they claimed to have parked their official vehicle.

He said he grew suspicious after he saw the face one of the men in the moving car when the latter received a phone call.

“The man had only beard and no moustache on his face. I told my relative that the two did not look like armymen. I asked him to run as soon as I apply brakes to the car, which we did. The two men tried to catch hold of me but I managed to run away and then called the police control room (PCR),” Maskin said.

The control room alerted Pathankot senior superintendent of police (SSP) Vivek Sheel Soni who rushed to the spot and deployed force in the area after he found Maskin’s statement credible.

The police found the abandoned car which was brought to the Narot Jaimal Singh police station where experts were examining it.

SSP Vivek Sheel Soni said, “I personally questioned the man and it appears that he is not lying. Police teams are searching the area and we have sealed the Punjab and J&K border where every vehicle is being checked.”

The police, the second line of defence after the Border Security Force (BSF) in the area, have had a brush with rumours many times in the past.

Besides Pathankot, police in Gurdaspur and J&K’s Kathua have increased vigil in their areas. Security establishments such as the air force and military bases in the area and ammunition depots have also been sounded.

First Published: Apr 16, 2018 09:59 IST