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HP on high alert, inter-state borders sealed, security beefed up after ‘Khalistan flags’ tide outside assembly

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Chandigarh: On Sunday “Khalistani flags” found at Himachal Pradesh legislative assembly main gate and and slogans scrawled on boundary walls after that Himachal Pradesh was put on high alert the Interstate borders have been sealed and police barricades placed there. Strict vigil of hotels and other “probable hideouts” has also been ordered. Bomb disposal units have been put on high alert and security strengthened for critical state infrastructure, the official order said.

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Security has been put on high alert at the state borders and “intensive” night patrolling by the police has been ordered.

The Himachal Pradesh Police booked Sikhs for Justice leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun under anti-terror law UAPA and sealed the state’s borders after Khalistani flags were put up on the gates of the state assembly complex in Dharamshala. Himachal Pradesh police chief Sanjay Kundu also ordered the sealing of the state’s border and beefing up of the state-wide security, citing pro-Khalistan activities in the state and the banned outfit’s announcement of a Khalistan referendum day on June 6.

The sealing of the border implies strict checks on vehicles and people entering the hilly state, police said. Police registered an FIR under sections 153-A and 153-B of IPC, section 3 of HP Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1985, and section 13 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) at Dharamshala Police station after the ‘Khalistan’ flags incident.

“ADGP-CID, IG/DIG Ranges and District SPs have been directed to seal all interstate borders/barriers and keep strict vigil at the places of probable hideouts i.e. hotels and sarais etc. They have been directed to keep the Special Security Units (SsUs), Bomb Disposal Squads and Quick Reactions Teams (QRTs) in position and on high alert and strengthen the security of dams, railway stations, bus stands, towns, government building and vital installations,” the statement added.

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The field formations have been directed to sensitize all the security staff and chowkidars of government buildings, banks, and public sector undertakings with regard to the threat and they may be advised to report any matter of concern to the local police station immediately. Earlier in the day, ‘Khalistan’ flags were found tied on the main gate and boundary wall of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly in Dharamshala on Sunday morning.

“I condemn the cowardly incident of raising Khalistan flags at the gate of Dharamshala Assembly Complex in the dark of night. Only winter session is held here, so there is a need for more security arrangements only during that time,” Chief Minister Thakur tweeted in Hindi this morning.

“Taking advantage of this, this cowardly incident has been carried out, but we will not tolerate it. This incident will be investigated immediately and strict action will be taken against the culprits. I would like to tell those people that if you have the courage, then come out in the light of day, not in the dark of night,” a second tweet read.

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