Pathankot: The Pathankot police on Wednesday launched a massive search operation to trace the terrorists which according to the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Home Affairs were ‘hiding’ outside the airbase which was attacked by heavily armed terrorists on Jaunary 2 this year.
The police action came after the Committee Chairman P Bhattacharya on Tuesday said that the some locals had informed the committee about the presence of terrorists in the villages which can mastermind another terror attack on the base which is part of Western Air Command of Indian Air Force.
Confirming the operation SSP Pathankot Rakesh Kaushal said nearly 300 policemen under his supervision carried out the search operation in and around Pathankot on early Wednesday morning.The operation however failed to trace the possible terrorists in the villages.
“The committee had said that the terrorists may be hiding in the villages near Pathankot. Accordingly we carried out a massive search operation in Akalgarh, Beli Mahanta, Fatehgarh, Nausera Nalbanda, Nausera Colony, Hema and Gharota areas between 6 am to 9 am. But nothing was found,” Rakesh Kaushal said.
The police has also raised doubts about Bhattacharya’s claim as neither the state nor the central security agencies had alerted the police about the presence of terrorists in Pathankot villages.
“There is no such alert. We did not get alert of this kind from any of the intelligence agencies. They are talking about the deployment of Army and CRPF at the airbase as it is managing the security its own,” Rakesh Kaushal said.
Sources said the hutments of a particular tribe were on the police target where the terrorists can hide. Sources say the people of this tribe graze their animals on Indo-Pak borders and the terrorists at times take shelter in their hutments.
Six people including three civilians, three Home Guards and one Police Officer lost their lives and 10 civilians and seven security force personnel were injured in the attack which took place in January this year.
Terrorists had attacked Dina Nagar police station on July 27, 2015 in which three civilians and four policemen, including a superintendent of police were killed and 15 others were injured.
Pathankot and Gurdaspur districts were on the radar of the terrorists which were spotted in Pathankot more than two times in 2015.