Search operations continue in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district

Gurdaspur (Punjab), Jan 7 (IANS) Punjab’s Gurdaspur and Pathankot districts remained on high alert on Thursday after earlier reports of suspicious people being seen in the area. Security forces carried out a thorough search operation in several villages around the Tibri army cantonment area near here.

Villages in a 10-km area around Tibri Cantt were sealed by security forces, comprising the army and Punjab Police, to look for suspicious people.

Police officers involved in the massive search operation said that security forces had to face difficulty in searching in some parts due to the standing sugarcane crop in the entire belt.

A resident of Pandher village near Gurdaspur had informed the police that he saw two men in army fatigues moving suspiciously near an agricultural field and then entering a sugarcane field on Tuesday.

The search operation was launched on Wednesday evening with over 1,000 security personnel scanning the area.

The high alert in the border belt follows last Saturday’s terrorist attack on the Pathankot air base in which six terrorists and seven security personnel were killed in an operation lasting over three and a half days.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the attack, the circumstances leading to it and security lapses, continued to question Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police Salwinder Singh.

The NIA teams continued to reconstruct the chain of events from the India-Pakistan international border in the Bamiyal sector in north Punjab to the Pathankot air base. The terrorists are believed to have taken this route to enter the air base.

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