Security Tightened At Shimla After Intel Input On terror Attack

Shimla: Security has been tightened up at The Ridge and Mall Road in Shimla amid threat perception from a Pakistan-based militant group. 

To enjoy and celebrate New Year’s Eve tourists and locals had gathered at The Ridge. Just as the celebrations began the cops arrived along with sniffer dogs. The police for public’s safety carried out an anti-sabotage check, every possible corner. This resulted in panic among the revellers.

The teams placed metal detectors on the entry and exit routes and frisked the visitors. Police vans fitted with public address systems repeatedly asked the people to return to houses, hotels and guest houses, saying that gathering could lead to the spread of omicron.

As per the information provided by police officials, a Pakistan-based terror outfit had threatened to blow up the water storage tank below The Ridge. The tank was built in 1880 to meet the water requirement of Shimla town.

The local police took help of Army which deployed its anti-sabotage teams in the town. Security has been tightened at the Army Training Command close to the Mall Road which was set up in 1991.

The water tank is cleaned on regular basis, but a major portion of tank has cracks. The police teams kept an eye and conducted checks throughout the city. 

Security was scaled up at chief minister Jai Ram Thakur’s official residence as well, besides the Viceroy Regal Lodge.

“There were specific inputs about The Ridge and the information was shared by Punjab intelligence. Inputs came late in the evening, so we had no option but to act promptly and get the area vacated,” said HP director general of police Sanjay Kundu. “There are a lot of tourists in the town. The security will remain tightened,” he added.

HP chief secretary Ram Subhag Singh spoke to his Punjab counterpart besides officials of the home department to gather more inputs on the threat.

However, there was a mixed reaction to police action among the business community. “It was an action taken timely as there was a huge rush and the safety of humans comes first,” said a trader on the Mall Road, Karan Nanda.

State Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore, meanwhile, castigated the police action. “The way people were asked to leave The Ridge and the Mall Road was inappropriate. It led to panic and scare among them,” he added.

Following the inputs from the intelligence agency the security will remain tightened Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said.

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