Grenade blast near Pathankot Army cantonment

Alert on Jammu-Pathankot highway
Grenade blast near Pathankot Army cantonment
Representational ImageFile/ GK

Pathankot/Jammu: A grenade blast occurred near the gate of the Army cantonment here, following which an alert has been sounded in the border district, police said on Monday. No casualty was reported in the incident that took place on Sunday night and was termed a “terror attack” by the police.

Some unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants hurled the grenade in front of the Triveni Dwar of the military area near Dheerapul here, the police said.

Asked what kind of grenade was used in the attack, Director General of Police Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota told PTI, “It was a Chinese-made P-86 grenade.”

The police said they are examining CCTV footage of the area to identify the assailants.

“The CCTV footage is being analysed,” said Senior Superintendent of Police, Pathankot, Surendra Lamba.

After the blast, an alert was sounded in Pathankot and nearby areas. Checking of vehicles was intensified at various points in and around the district.

A case under relevant sections of the Explosives Act has been registered in connection with the incident, the police said.

The Pathankot police and Army personnel conducted a search operation near the border area under Narot Jaimal Singh police station after some villagers claimed to have noticed some suspicious people on Sunday.

After information was received, the search operation was conducted with the help of a drone, a police official said.

Notably, the Pathankot Air Force base was attacked by terrorists in January 2016. Another terror attack took place at a police station in Dinanagar in neighbouring Gurdaspur district in July 2015. Earlier on Monday, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said he had called a meeting of senior officers of the Amritsar border zone and the Jalandhar zone on Tuesday to review the law and order situation and security in the state.

Randhawa, who also holds the home portfolio, also issued strict instructions to the police to increase night patrolling in the state. At least one-third of the gazetted officers in each commissionerate or district will be deputed for patrolling according to a roster. In a statement, Randhawa said that it has come to his notice that adequate police patrolling was not being carried out during the night.

He said at least one-third of the officers should be on patrolling duty during the night and “I can randomly check the location of the duty officer at any time by making a video call to the concerned”. Security of the state will not be compromised at any cost and strict action will be initiated against negligent officers, he said.

Meanwhile, following the grenade blast at Pathankot, security grid has been tightened on the Jammu-Pathankot highway. A senior police officer said that the security has been tightened on the highway connecting J&K with Punjab.“We have intensified checking of vehicles at Lakhanpur on their entry and special nakas have also been established on the highway,” the officer said. “We are already alert on the highway as a routine but the Pathankot blast has cautioned the security agencies and we are working in coordination with Punjab police,” the officer said. The police officer border villages have also been put on high alert.

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