CHANDIGARH: After the Paris attacks that left 129 dead and nearly 200 wounded, Punjab Police has increased the security of the Sada-e-Sarhad bus between New Delhi and Lahore following intelligence inputs received from Central agencies about a possible attack by militants. Central agencies sent an alert to Punjab, Haryana and Delhi Police.
The bus service started 16 years ago on March 16, 1999, to enhance people-to-people contact following an initiative by then Prime Minister A B Vajpayee and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif. Since then, the bus has been following the same route on National Highway 1, entering India from Attari and on to Amritsar, Jalandhar, Phagwara, Ludhiana, Rajpura, Ambala, Karnal and Delhi. The Ministry of Home Affairs has now directed state governments that in case of an emergency, the route should be changed. The states’ police have chalked out an alternative route in case of any eventuality.
The bus is escorted by two police vehicles, and two more Punjab Police commandos have been added to the entourage. Police stations along its route have been told to keep a tab on activities in their jurisdictions.
In the past, protesters have stopped the bus to show their resentment against the neighbouring country.