Punjab: Villages bordering Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab are being evacuated in view of India carrying out surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC.
Villages in Attari sector in Jammu and Kashmir are being evacuated amongst others, as per ANI.
On the other hand, residents of nearly 1,000 villages in Punjab districts bordering Pakistan are being evacuated.
The villages being evacuated as a preventive measure include 300 in Ferozepur district, 290 in Gurdaspur, 137 in Amritsar, 135 in Tarn Taran, 65 in Pathankot and 60 in Fazilka, as per IANS.
Punjab shares a 553-km border with Pakistan.
Moreover, emergency ward of Civil Hospital in Pathankot has been cleared in preparation for any eventuality.
Earlier, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal over telephone today to request him to immediately start the process of evacuation of the people, as per PTI.
Following this, Badal directed the Chief Secretary and DGP to ask the concerned Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) to oversee the entire evacuation process in the border districts.
Security has also been tightened in Rajasthan along the country's border with Pakistan, official sources said.
"Troops in Rajasthan are in a state of high alertness and preparedness to meet any eventuality," Army sources told IANS.
A high-level meeting was called by Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria with senior security and state government officials.
India carries out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across LoC
In the first such action, India carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the LoC with the Army saying today its special forces inflicted "significant casualties" on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The announcement of the sudden action by the Army to prevent fresh terror attacks was made by the DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, 11 days after the strike by Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM on an Indian army camp in Uri in Kashmir over which Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the attackers will not go "unpunished" and that the sacrifice of 18 jawans will not go in vain.
"Based on very credible and specific information which we received yesterday that some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launch pads along the Line of Control with an aim to carry out infiltration and terrorist strikes in Jammu & Kashmir and in various other metros in our country, the Indian army conducted surgical strikes last night at these launch pads," General Singh told a news conference during which External affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup was also present.
The announcement of the strikes by the Indian army was made soon after Prime Minister Modi chaired a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS).
Prime Minister Modi informed President Pranab Mukherjee, J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and former Premier Mahmohan Singh among others on the surgical strikes.
Sharing details, Gen Singh said the operations were basically focused "to ensure that the terrorists do not succeed in their design of infiltration and carrying out destruction and endangering the lives of citizens of our country."
"During these counter terrorist operations, significant casualties have been caused to the terrorists and those who are trying to support them. The operations aimed at neutralizing the terrorists have since ceased. We do not have any plans for continuation of further operations. However the Indian armed forces are fully prepared for any contingency that may arise," he said.
The DGMO said he had spoken to the Pakistani Director General of Military Operations and explained India's concerns and also shared with him details of the operation.
"It is India's intention to maintain peace and tranquility in the region, but we can certainly not allow the terrorists to operate across the Line of Control with impunity and attack the citizens of our country. In line with Pakistan's commitment made in January 2004 not to allow its soil or territory under its control for any terrorist activities against India, we expect the Pakistani army to cooperate with us with a view to erase this menace of terrorism from our region," he said.
(With Agency inputs)