Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, January 1
A high alert has been sounded at all important tourist destinations and sensitive installations following intelligence inputs of a possible bomb blast on New Year. Security has been beefed up on The Mall Road and The Ridge in Shimla.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that intelligence inputs of a plot to trigger a bomb blast on The Ridge was received late last evening.
At a high-level meeting, it was decided that no risk should be taken as the lives of residents and tourists were far more precious than festivities, following which people were asked to return to their places.
- Heavy police force deployed on Saturday
- Security personnel in uniform and plainclothes maintained strict vigil
- Security men with rifles and binoculars were positioned at all vantage points and vulnerable locations
Army personnel from Chandimandir and a bomb squad unit assisted the state police in the search operation and The Mall Road and The Ridge were got vacated. The administration had been told to check overcrowding, said Thakur. Tourists were welcome but the administration needs to be cautious, he added.
A heavy police deployment was made today and security personnel in uniform and plainclothes maintained strict vigil while security men with rifles and binoculars were positioned at all vantage points and vulnerable locations to prevent any untoward incident.
Last evening, the district administration received inputs from an intelligence agency that a
“Pakistan-based entity was planning a blast on The Ridge” and commotion was caused when officers reached there along with the police and
asked the revellers to vacate the area.
Thousands of tourists, who had thronged Shimla to celebrate New Year, were baffled. They faced another disappointment this morning as a ‘white New Year’ eluded the ‘queen of hills’ and a thin crowd was seen on The Ridge and The Mall.
The occupancy in hotels, which was nearly 100 per cent on Friday night, dropped to about 75 per cent to 80 per cent , said MK Seth, president of the Tourism Industry Stakeholders Association.