Indian intelligence has reportedly warned of a possible terror attack at the country’s airports, prompting authorities Friday to place airports in four states and the national capital on high alert, as tensions continue to escalate between the South Asian nation and its regional rival — Pakistan.
Airports in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat — all sharing their international border with Pakistan — have been asked to implement high-security measures. Other major airports like those in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru have also been issued directives to ramp up vigilance, reports say.
“There is no specific threat. But as a precaution, we have put all bordering states airports and in Delhi on high alert,” said O.P. Singh, chief of India’s Central Industrial Security Force, which is responsible for the security of all airports across the country.
As India preps for its upcoming festival season with major celebrations expected for Dussehra and Diwali, high alerts are common. However, the reason behind the latest alert is the intelligence’s warning of a terror strike at a time when India’s relations with its neighbor are becoming increasingly tense, according to local reports.
The alerts come soon after India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi that intelligence agencies have warned of nearly 100 terrorists attempting to cross into the country along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
There have been regular reports of militant attacks on Indian army bases across Kashmir. A major attack on one of its army bases in the Kupwara district of the state was reportedly thwarted Thursday, killing three infiltrators. An attempted attack at the counter-insurgency group 46 Rashtriya Rifles’ camp in Baramulla led to the death of one soldier last week.
The trigger for the deterioration of relations between the two countries was a terrorist attack on the Indian army base in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, last month, which resulted in the deaths of 19 Indian soldiers. According to India, the attacks were carried out by Pakistan-based militants and it says that it retaliated through “surgical strikes” on militant hideouts across the LoC last Thursday. Pakistan, however, has repeatedly denied that any such strikes took place.