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CM REVIEWS SITUATION WITH TOP POLICE & CIVIL BRASS, ALSO SPEAKS TO UNION HOME MINISTER

Chandigarh, February 26: Punjab has put its border districts on high alert in the wake of the Indian Air Force (IAF) surgical strikes across the Line of Control, undertaken by India as a retaliatory measure in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.

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.

As a confidence-building step, the Chief Minister will himself be visiting the border areas from Pathankot to Ferozepur by road tomorrow, an official spokesperson announced after a high-level law and order review meeting, chaired by Captain Amarinder Singh. The meeting found no need for panic and decided against any move to evacuate the residents of the border areas.

The Chief Minister discussed all aspects of the current situation with the top brass of the police and civil administration, including CM’s Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Home Secretary NS Kalsi, DGP Dinkar Gupta and DGP Intelligence VK Bhawara.

CM’s Media Advisor Raveen Thukral, who was also present at the meeting, said Captain Amarinder Singh directed the officials to monitor the situation closely and not let down their guard under any circumstances. The state government was in touch with the Union Home and Defence Ministries to remain abreast of the situation. The government was fully prepared to deal with any eventuality, Thukral added.

The Chief Minister, who spoke to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, on the situation, earlier tweeted his full support for the surgical strikes. “Great job by the #IndianAirForce. The #IAFStrikes have sent the much needed signal to Pakistan and the terrorists it’s harbouring - don’t think you can get away with acts like the #PulwamaAttack. Bravo to the #IAF men and my full support for the action,” he wrote.

Immediately after the deadly Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy, Captain Amarinder Singh, a former Army captain, had made it clear that he was in favour of strong retaliatory action and that the Congress would support any course of action decided by the central government. ‘They have killed 41, we should kill 82 of theirs,” he had said, without mincing words. And an emotional Captain Amarinder Singh had also said that if Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan could not arrest the Jaish chief who was operating from Pak soil, then “we will do it for him.”