New Delhi: Locals living in adjoining areas of Pathankot air base, which was stormed by six terrorists recently, used to enter the premises after paying as low as Rs 20 to security guards to graze their cattle and even shop in the CSD canteen.
Intelligence agencies have informed the Home Ministry that it was a common practice for many people to enter the sensitive air force base with their cattle for grazing after paying the guards deployed in a few isolated gates. There are several hundred population of Gujjar community who herd cattle and they found the grass inside the campus suitable for grazing.
Security beefed up at Pathankot Air Force base during the visit of PM Narendra Modi on Saturday following a recent attack by terrorists on the base. PTI
Alarmed by the terrorist attack, the Punjab government has now initiated the process of head-count of the Gujjar population living near the air base to ensure security in the vicinity, the inputs said. There are several shops, including CSD canteen, inside the Pathankot air base and there have been reports that many locals go to shop there.
While some of the locals even made identity cards while some other pay the security guards to enter the premises, the inputs suggest. In a pre-dawn attack, a group of heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists, believed to be belonging to JeM, attacked the Pathankot air base on January 2 killing seven security personnel. Six terrorists were also killed in the incident.
The terrorists were said to have crossed the India- Pakistan border in Punjab and reached the strategically crucial air base and carried out the attack.