Delhi, Punjab and Assam were put on high alert after a call from Nigeria informed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Tuesday about seven terrorists who were planning to attack on Holi. Among the seven terrorists who infiltrated from the Pathankot border in Punjab is reportedly a former Pakistani solider.
Mohammad Khurshid Alam aka Jahangir, a former Pakistani soldier, who worked as a recruiter and coordinator for jihadi groups in Assam and six other "hardcore" terrorists entered India through the "Pathankot, Punjab-Pakistan border" Feb. 23, NDTV reported. The group is expected to target hotels and hospitals, reports said.
The call, which originated in Nigeria, was not from an official source. However, the home ministry decided to "err on the side of caution" and increased security during the Holi festival.
"Like banking scams where people are asked to share bank account details and pay for legal fees against a promise of hefty payment, in this case too the callers promise information for payment," an official was quoted as saying by NDTV.
India and Nigeria have reportedly launched joint investigations previously after India received several such calls about information in exchange of money.
The tip-off, veracity of which is not known, also revealed the places Alam had travelled to in the country. He had reportedly stayed in a madrasa, an Ismalic education institution in Assam's Barpeta district in September 2015 before leaving for Chirang district. For his operations, he used a madrasa in Dhubri district as a base, Press Trust of India reported.
Recently, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval was alerted by his Pakistani counterpart Naseer Janjua about 10 terrorists who had infiltrated through a western border. However, conflicting reports regarding three of the 10 being killed soon followed. Gujarat Police officials had dismissed the reports of the killings.
The infiltrations come in the wake of the Pathankot terror attack in January 2016 that killed terrorists and security personnel. The attack, which took place almost two months ago, was pegged to lapse in security measures and gaps at the border at the time.