Two low powered bomb blasts shocked the technical area of Jammu Air Force Station early on Sunday morning. It is the first ever bombing by quadcopter drones in India. This was the first terror attack on an armed forces quarters since 2018 when Jaish-e-Mohammed operatives harmed an Indian Army camp in Sunjuwan, Jammu.
After two explosives-loaded drones collapsed into the high-security Indian Air Force station at Jammu airport, a warning was announced in Punjab’s border district of Pathankot, news agency PTI reported on Sunday.
Officials conveyed the news agency that tight security was being maintained near key systems in Pathankot. The Pathankot air base had come under terror attack in 2016. According to the report, patrolling has been increased near sensitive areas in and around Pathankot and additional forces have been arranged.
Sharing the details about the extra security measures in wake of the Jammu incident, Pathankot SSP Surendra Lamba told PTI that workforces were on our guard in view of the situation. “Whenever there is an incident of this kind, maximum alert is sounded in neighboring areas,” he said.
According to information received, the explosions occurred around 1:45 am on Sunday morning, with the first one taking out the rooftop of a building while the second one, almost five minutes later, was on the ground in an open area. While there were no reports of any fatalities, two Indian Air Force (IAF) employees—License officer Arvind Singh and airman S K Singh — got minor injuries. An FIR has been recorded under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA. While a suspect has been picked up for questioning, J&K DGP Dilbagh Singh, who called the blasts as a “terror attack”, said an “IED weighing 5-6 kgs was recovered by Jammu police” which was to be implanted by an operator of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in some crowded area, he added.
The two blasts occurred hours before Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Army Chief General MM Naravane were to start a three-day visit to Ladakh, to converse with the troops and review India’s operational readiness in the background of a long standoff with China. Singh studied the situation by speaking to IAF vice chief Air Marshal H S Arora, while Delhi-based Western Air Command Chief Air Marshal V R Chaudhari flew to Jammu to take stock of the situation.
While the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been fastened in to lead the investigation, a terror alert has also been announced at the Pathankot air force base in Punjab which was the aim of a terror attack in 2016 in which six terrorists and seven security personnel were killed. There was no loss of any equipment and flight operations were also unaffected, according to Jammu Airport Director Pravat Ranjan Beuria. However, two flights — G8 185 and SG 963 — were called off for what airport authorities said were operational reasons. While Jammu airport is a civil airport, the runway and the ATC (air traffic control) are under the IAF. Technical area of an airport is usually a high security zone used for VIP and military flight operations.