On Thursday, October 3, security officials have extended an orange security alert, the second-highest alert, to an additional 24 airports across northern India. This now includes Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). The decision was made following threats of suicide attacks by militants from the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist group. Authorities are reportedly reviewing security measures in all airports in question.
As of Wednesday, October 2, security forces across New Delhi have been put on heightened alert and multiple raids have been conducted across the city following intel warning of a possible Jaish-e-Mohammed presence in the capital. Authorities have since issued a red security alert for the capital on Thursday, consequently increased the security presence in the capital during the ongoing Durga Puja and Ramlila festivals, expected to take place until Tuesday, October 8.
A heightened security presence, along with an increased wait time at checkpoints and processing at the affected airports is expected in the coming days and weeks.
On October 2, authorities issued the second highest security alert at airports in Amritsar, Pathankot, Srinagar, Avantipur, Jammu, and Hindan following the terror threat.
Tensions remain high across the region after Indian Home Minister Amit Shah proposed to parliament in early August that Article 370 in the Constitution, which accords Jammu and Kashmir a special autonomous status, be revoked. He also proposed that Jammu and Kashmir be reorganized as a Union Territory with an Assembly, and Ladakh be a separate Union Territory with no legislature.
After New Delhi rescinded the state's effective constitutional autonomy, a curfew was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir state on August 5, along with a blockage of landline and internet services in many areas. Thousands protested the move in Srinagar in the weeks since the announcement and imposition of the curfew, with protesters clashing with security forces and obstructing traffic on major thoroughfares. Business disruptions have also been frequently reported in recent weeks.
Individuals in northern India, particularly in New Delhi, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant and terrorist activity, avoid unnecessary movements and public gatherings, and adhere to instructions issued by their home governments. Expect heightened screening and other security measures and longer wait times at airports.
Some Western governments advise their citizens against travel to parts of Kashmir, notably including areas along the Line of Control (LoC), due to the significant risk of violence.
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