Chandigarh, Dec 7: Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express from Jammu was stopped and thoroughly searched by the Army and police tonight at Pathankot in Punjab after authorities received an specific alert about the presence of an explosive in the train. The alert was passed on to Punjab police by their J-K counterpart, following which the search operation was launched, a senior police official said.
Nearly 150 security personnel including three DSP-rank Punjab Police officers, a SP-rank officer, besides Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel thoroughly searched the train at Pathankot Cantt station, about 250 kms from here, Pathankot SSP Rakesh Kaushal said.
Later, the Army's help was also sought, which also joined the search for presence of any explosive, he added. After being stopped at Pathankot Cantt station at around 9:30 pm, the search by the Army carried well past midnight.
"There was a specific input passed on by the DGP of J&K Police to us after which we acted swiftly and started searching the train thoroughly. We did not want to take any chances. We also sought the Army's help," Kaushal told PTI over phone. Notably, security forces were on maximum alert in the wake of December 5 terror attacks carried out by the militants in J&K. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to address poll rally in the Valley tomorrow. Pathankot town in Punjab is located along the Punjab-J&K border.
Asked if the input passed on by J&K police mentioned that a bomb could have been placed inside the train, the SSP said, "there was threat input...we swung into action immediately. The passengers may have been inconvenienced, but for us their safety and security was paramount." The passengers were asked to disembark from the train, which had left Jammu at around 7:45 PM to reach Pathankot after 9:30 PM, after traveling a distance of about 100 km. Dog squad, bomb disposal squad and other equipment were used to search the train for presence of any explosive.