IAF Air Strike in Balakot: Alert level raised in Punjab border districts, Gujarat

Delhi : Hours after the Indian Air Force conducted a non-military preemptive strike in Balakot targeting the biggest terror camp of Jasih-e-Mohammad, a high alert has been raised in Gujarat and Punjab’s border districts.

PTI reported that Gujarat’s Director General of Police Shivanand Jha cancelled a conference on crime-related issues scheduled in Gandhinagar and asked all officers who reached here to attend it to return to their respective headquarters in view of the alert sounded in the state. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, meanwhile, is likely to visit the border areas from Pathankot to Ferozepur by road on Wednesday.

The developments come in the wake of the air strike launched by the IAF on Tuesday morning across the Line of Control. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the target was chosen to avoid civilian casualties. He said the camp, located in thick forests on a hilltop away from civilian areas, was run by Maulana Yusuf Azhar, brother-in-law of JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar. The airstrikes in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir is the first time Indian Air Force has been used in Pakistan controlled air space after the 1971 war.

In Punjab, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has ordered a spate of measures as part of the state’s preparedness to deal with any contingency in view of the latest developments at the LoC. DCs and SSPs of the border areas have been asked to put in place all contingency plans to ensure the protection and safety of the citizens. The Chief Minister will himself be visiting the border areas from Pathankot to Ferozepur by road on Wednesday, an official spokesperson announced after a high-level law and order review meeting, chaired by the CM. The meeting found no need for panic and decided against any move to evacuate the residents of the border areas.