A time-bound security audit will be conducted for all “vulnerable” installations of armed forces, paramilitary and police, the government on Friday announced after a high-level meeting here reviewed the situation in the country in the aftermath of the Pathankot terror attack.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh presided the meeting that was attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, NSA Ajit Doval and other top officials of security and intelligence agencies to discuss the takeaways from the January 2 terrorist attack on the air base.
The government said that “strengths” displayed by all the concerned agencies should be further built upon.
“In view of the continuing threats from hostile elements from across the border, the need to further upgrade both intelligence and preventive abilities specially in terms of technology was stressed.
“It was decided that the security audit of all vulnerable stations of armed forces, paramilitary forces and police would be carried out within a given timeframe,” a home ministry statement said.
Discussions were held on the means to further strengthen the prevention, detection and foiling of such dastardly attacks.
During the hour-long meeting, it was felt that once the intelligence input had been confirmed, the response time was quick enough, both in terms of decisions that were taken, and in deployment of forces.
It was also felt that strength displayed by all the concerned agencies, especially in terms of their synergised response, needs not only to be commended, but also further built upon, the statement said.
The ministers appreciated the work done by both the intelligence agencies in giving advance warning of the attack and of the security agencies, in effectively meeting the challenge and minimising the possible damage.
The ministers also appreciated the bravery shown by the security forces in the incident and paid homage to those who sacrificed their lives.
The need to have a better media communication strategy was also felt. It was decided that in such incidents, media is best briefed by authorised persons on the spot and arrangements for this, including training, should be put in place to meet such contingencies, should they happen in the future, the statement said.
Official sources said the top brass of the country’s security apparatus also took stock of various aspects of internal security and analysed intelligence inputs received in recent past.
Necessary instructions have been given to ensure security in all sensitive locations, border areas and major urban centres, including Delhi where the Republic Day’s main function will be held with French President Francois Hollande as the chief guest.
Chiefs of Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing shared various inputs gathered by the two organisations while chief of National Investigation Agency briefed about the ongoing probe into the terror attack on Pathankot air base, the sources said.
Recent intelligence inputs have suggested that there could be 6 to 10 Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists who had crossed over to India from Pakistan through Punjab in recent past.
Six suspected JeM terrorists were killed in the Pathankot air base after three days of fierce gun battle but there is a possibility of a few remaining at large, the sources said.
Besides, according to a Punjab Police input, there could be 15 terrorists who have breached the international border and had entered India from Pakistan.
An additional 10,000 paramilitary personnel have already been deployed in Delhi to ensure greater security cover ahead of the Republic Day celebrations.
Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, defence secretary G Mohan Kumar and senior officers from the ministry of home, defence, paramilitary forces were also present at the meeting.
The meeting came a day after India and Pakistan deferred the foreign secretary-level talks and India gave the go-ahead to the visit of a Pakistan SIT on Pathankot attack.