#Amritsar was trending on microblogging site Twitter during the early hours of Friday, as residents of the Punjab city said they had heard "two loud sounds" in the air.
Rumours soon started doing the rounds as some users said the noise was heard after two fighter jets had passed over the city. While the initial tweets were filled with panic, others soon advised against the propagation of such messages. They told fellow citizens to "trust the Indian Army" instead of floating conspiracy theories.
My entire house shook from the blasts. #Amritsar— Ragini (@raginigauri98) March 14, 2019
A user tweeted that his entire house shook in the double tremor that was felt around 1:00 am. The sound is likely to be the sonic boom caused by fighter jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) as a major readiness exercise was carried out last night over Punjab and Jammu. A sonic boom is generated by shock waves when an object travels through the air faster than the speed of sound.
However, the Punjab Police confirmed that there was nothing to worry about. “I appeal to the people not to believe in rumours on social media,” Amritsar Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Jagjit Singh Walia told ANI. “Everything is okay. As per our information nothing has happened.”
During the exercise, IAF jets, including frontline aircraft, flew at supersonic speeds in the border districts including Amritsar in Punjab, sources told ANI.
Sources: Indian Air Force carried out major readiness exercise last night over Punjab and Jammu in which large number of fighter aircraft participated. During the exercise, IAF jets,including frontline aircraft, flew at supersonic speeds in the border districts including Amritsar pic.twitter.com/QChQ4szjp6— ANI (@ANI) March 15, 2019
The reason for carrying out the combat drill was to be prepared for thwarting any misadventure by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to intrude into Indian air space, they said.
The IAF has been on high alert ever since it carried out air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist camp in Balakot town of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunwa province on February 26.
A couple of days ago, two PAF fighter jets flew at supersonic speeds over Pakistan-occupied Kashmir around 10 kilometres from the Line of Control in the Poonch sector.
Here are some more tweets
Plains past in the sky of the amritsar and then huge blast sounds,, oh my god what is happening #amritsar— A.P.S sandhu (@amansandhu319) March 14, 2019
A couple of blast sounds and the whole city is awake & apprehensive. Enough to make us realize we wouldn’t want a war and destroy the peace in the border cities. #Amritsar— Simardeep S. Bhatia (@simsta11) March 14, 2019
Were those bombs I just heard??? #amritsar— angry young woman (@__kinito) March 14, 2019
Relax! #Amritsar safe.— Mayukh Ranjan Ghosh | ময়ূখ | मयूख |گھوش | (@mayukhrghosh) March 14, 2019
Spoke to DCP Bhullar #Amritsar City. He is patrolling overnight. Confirms about the #SonicSound at 1am. Source of sound not found though. No incidents of explosion. No movement from the other side. Red alert part of routine exercise. No report of blackout.