NEW DELHI: Amid terror threat from Pakistan-based militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), unprecedented security arrangements have been made at 'places of higher footfalls' in the national capital on the eve of Diwali.
The threat is reportedly based on a series of telephonic intercepts involving two Jaish commanders from across the border. In Delhi, security is at the highest alert in three crowded markets -- Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and Karol Bagh localities.
Besides, armed security in more than two dozen malls and multiplexes in the national capital has been beefed up, top sources in Delhi Police told IANS. A general alert was also sounded in other metros, including Mumbai, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad.
In relation to a specific threat input, a senior officer of the Delhi Police said that security has been upgraded at two dozen vital installations, including government buildings in Central Delhi.
Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) and armed para military personnel have been deployed in key areas, including Khan Market, Bengali Market, Connaught Place, India Gate, Rajpath, India International Centre (IIC) and Delhi Gymkhana.
Earlier last week, police stations across the city were asked to keep their gates locked with a sentry posted there round the clock. Only government vehicles were allowed entry inside.
An alert of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) said that police stations and police colonies in Delhi may be targeted via suicide or direct attacks by the terrorists. According to IB input last week, terrorists may use explosive-laden vehicles or enter the police stations on foot.
Subsequently, picket duties have been enhanced and dog squads and QRTs have been put on 24-hour alert.
Besides Delhi, the intelligence agencies have also asked police commissioners of Bengaluru, Mumbai and Ahmedabad to enhance vigil in markets known for Diwali shopping.
Though no specific terror threat inputs have been received, a general alert has been sounded in wake of threats pouring in from across the border after the abrogation of Article 370 which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
On the instructions of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the internal security department is coordinating with various state police and are monitoring the situation, particularly in the Valley, said a source in the Ministry of Home Affairs.