Punjab CM seeks CAPFs to tackle Pakistan-backed terror outfits

Citing the escalating threat to the state’s security from across the border, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah to urgently provide 25 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and anti-drone gadgets to the Border Security Force for protection from Pakistan-backed terror forces.

Citing the recent heavy influx of weapons, hand grenades, and IEDs into the state, with Pakistan’s ISI also raising the ante ahead of the Independence Day and in the run-up to the Assembly polls, he told Shah at a meeting here this evening that the security situation was grave and needed the Centre’s immediate intervention.

Amarinder Singh sought CAPF deployment for Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Mohali, Patiala, Bathinda, Phagwara, and Moga, as well as anti-drone technology for the BSF deployed at the borders.

He pointed to the potent threat to the security of vital infrastructure, installations and public meetings and events being attended by highly threatened individuals.

Citing inputs from central and state agencies, corroborated by disclosures made by arrested terrorists, Amarinder Singh said potential individual and mass indiscriminate targets include trains, buses, Hindu temples and outfits, and prominent farmer leaders.

Some specific inputs about five such farmer leaders had been received but they had refused to take security.

The Chief Minister apprised Shah about the recent efforts by the ISI and the Pakistani establishment to push large quantities of weapons, hand grenades, RDX explosive, detonators, timer devices, and sophisticated laboratory-made “tiffin bombs” into Punjab for carrying out terrorist acts.

“With the Punjab Assembly elections scheduled for February-March 2022, many militant and radical operatives are being pressurised by the ISI to carry out terrorist actions. These are very serious and worrisome developments having huge security implications for the border state and its people,” he warned.

He reminded the Home Minister about the earlier targeted killings masterminded by the ISI, including that of RSS, Shiv Sena and Dera leaders in 2016, ahead of the last Assembly polls.

The Maur bomb blast On January 31, 2017 was carried out just three days prior to the polling day on February 4, he noted.