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'Locals pay Rs 20 to security guards to enter Pathankot airbase'

New Delhi: Locals living in adjoining areas of terror-hit Pathankot airbase used to enter the premises after allegedly paying a paltry Rs 20 to security guards to graze their cattle and even shop in the
PTI January 13, 2016 14:35 IST
PTI

New Delhi: Locals living in adjoining areas of terror-hit Pathankot airbase used to enter the premises after allegedly paying a paltry Rs 20 to security guards to graze their cattle and even shop in the CSD canteen, according to inputs gathered by intelligence agencies.

Intelligence agencies have informed the Home Ministry that it was a common practice for many people to enter the sensitive Air Force base with their cattle for grazing after allegedly paying the guards deployed in a few isolated gates in the sprawling premises.

Alarmed by the terrorist attack, the Punjab government has now initiated the process of head-count of the Gujjar population living near the airbase who herd cattle to ensure security in the vicinity, the inputs said.

There are several shops, including CSD canteen, inside the Pathankot airbase and there have been reports that many locals go to shop there.

Some of the locals even made identity cards while some other pay the security guards to enter the premises, the inputs claimed.

An IAF spokesperson described as baseless and devoid of facts the inputs gathered by the intelligence agencies.

In a pre-dawn attack, a group of heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists, believed to be belonging to JeM, attacked the Pathankot air base on January 2 killing seven security personnel.

Six terrorists were also killed during the encounter. The terrorists were said to have crossed the India-Pakistan border in Punjab and reached the strategically crucial airbase and carried out the attack.

An IAF spokesperson described as baseless and devoid of facts the report of how locals living in adjoining areas of Pathankot airbase used to enter the premises after paying as low as Rs 20 to security guards to graze their cattle and even shop in the CSD canteen.