Terror strike feared in Delhi ahead of Independence Day
Security forces in the Capital are in a state of high alert following an intelligence input that nine Pakistani terrorists have sneaked into Delhi ahead of the Independence Day celebrations.
The input, generated in the wake of the recent attack in Gurdaspur in which 13 people were killed, was received and the entire security apparatus galvanised to deal with the possible fallout of the terrorists’ entry into the Capital.
Highly placed sources in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), a paramilitary force entrusted with securing important and strategic installations across the country, told Mail Today that the recently circulated intelligence inputs pointed out that nine terrorists from Pakistan had managed to enter the national Capital. A cache of arms, meant to be used in possible terror attacks, had reached Delhi almost three months earlier, the sources added.
“The routine Saturday meeting at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), where all the arms of Indian intelligence are present to share intelligence inputs with one another, had thrown up this input. It has since been circulated to all of us with the direction to maintain top-notch vigil and remain at the highest level of preparedness to avert any terror attack. So we have beefed up security at all the establishments that are under our watch,” the CISF sources said.
Meanwhile, a high-ranking intelligence official refused to either corroborate or deny the reports. But he told Mail Today that with August 15 approaching, the security forces were taking all threat inputs at face value and the intelligence establishment was taking no chances in maintaining vigil and security in the run-up to the Independence Day celebrations.
“Whenever we receive such inputs, we always put these through our system of verification by way of which we decide the preciseness of information and the immediacy of the threat. We always cross-check how specific such inputs are. However, on occasions of national importance like August 15 and January 26, we do not take any chances. So we take all such inputs at face value and circulate these among all arms of the security apparatus,” the intelligence officer explained.
As per the input, nine suspected terrorists have already entered Delhi and their cache of explosives, including RDX and detonators, which is used in manufacturing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), has already made its way into the Capital. “The input was brought to our attention at the home affairs ministry’s meeting nearly two weeks back,” CISF sources said.
Intelligence sources also told Mail Today that it was possible that the terror plans on Delhi were an extension of the Gurdaspur attack or that these suspected nine foot soldiers had been part of the same group that perpetrated the Gurdaspur attack.
“During the Gurdaspur attack investigation, our security forces had found GPS devices. Since these devices record the route followed from the point of origin, it was easily established that the terrorists involved in the Gurdaspur mission had crossed back and forth several times between India and Pakistan,” an intelligence official said.
On the other hand, sources in Delhi Police’s special cell said that such input circulations were normal closer to such occasions as August 15 and January 26 to put the security apparatus on high alert. “Such preparedness levels help us pre-empt any untoward incident from taking place as all agencies and the local police beef up their apparatus,” the sources added.
The intelligence official said that standard operating procedures are followed to deal with such situations and a multi-layered grid is activated. The threat perception is generally high during this time of the year as the entire area around Red Fort in Central Delhi, the venue of the prime minister’s Independence Day speech, is sanitised by the agencies. Delhi police is assisted by the central intelligence agencies and even the armed forces.