Chandigarh, February 26:

Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh will camp in the border areas of Punjab as part of the confidence-building measures undertaken by the state government in the wake of the Indian Air Force (IAF) surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC).

A high alert has been sounded in the border districts by the government, which is in constant touch with the Union Home and Defence Ministries to stay abreast of the volatile situation arising from the strikes, undertaken by India as a retaliatory measure in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.

The Chief Minister, who reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting with the top brass of the police and civil administration, has decided to stay in the sensitive border region for on-ground assessment of the situation. He will leave for Pathankot tomorrow morning, and will travel by road to villages in border areas of the district and Amritsar, where he will stay the night. The next day, he will visit the Tarn Taran region and spend the night at Faridkot. Captain Amarinder will return to Chandigarh on Friday after visiting the border areas of Ferozepur district, his Media Advisor Raveen Thukral said.

Thukral, who was present at the review meeting, disclosed that the Chief Minister had 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 plants to ensure the protection and safety of the citizens.

The meeting found no need for panic and decided against any move to evacuate the residents of the border areas, said the Media Advisor.

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.

Captain Amarinder directed the officials to maintain monitor the situation closely and not let down their guard under any circumstances. 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, 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 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.”


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