New Delhi: Concerned authorities have beefed up security of Delhi-Lahore bus and Samjhauta Express following an alert from intelligence agencies that terror groups are on the lookout of targeting these two modes of transportation between India and Pakistan.
Highly placed sources said that intelligence inputs suggest terrorists groups are planning to disrupt the Republic Day event in the national capital. They may target Samjhauta Express and Delhi-Lahore bus service. The officials refrained from commenting on the kind of threat perception.
However, keeping in view the threat perception and prevailing disturbances in Kashmir Valley and upcoming Republic Day, security on Delhi-Lahore bus and Samjhauta Express train, which passes through three states, has been beefed up.
While the Delhi-Lahore bus operates daily except Sunday, the Samjhauta Express train runs twice a week. Police in three states – Delhi, Haryana and Punjab – have been directed to keep a sharp vigil and be ready to handle any situation.
The train usually has between four to eight coaches. The train’s first break of service was when it was discontinued on January 1, 2002 in the wake of the terrorist attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001. Services resumed on January 15, 2004. The train service was also suspended following the December 27, 2007, assassination of Benazir Bhutto as a preventive measure to deny militants a “high-value target”.
On October 8, 2012, police recovered about 100 kg of heroin and more than 500 bullets at Wagah border on the train heading for Delhi.
The Delhi-Lahore bus is jointly operated by the Delhi Transport Corporation and the Pakistan Tourist Development Corporation. The bus service is operated from Ambedkar Stadium Bus Terminal near Delhi Gate in Delhi and the Lahore-Delhi Bus Terminal at Gulberg-III in Lahore.
Authorities on both sides maintain strict security screening of the passengers and the baggage. Hazardous materials are prohibited and valuables checked. Customs and immigration checking are performed on arrival in the Pakistani town of Wagah and at the first stop in India at Amritsar. Passengers are required to carry their passports, a valid visa and their travel tickets and check in 2 hours before departure.