India aiport alert
Indian airports placed on high alert amid simmering tensions with neighbouring Pakistan PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images file photo

Twenty-two Indian airports across northern India have been placed on high alert over a possible terror attack in the coming days as tensions with neighbouring Pakistan rage on. This comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was informed by the national security adviser that more than 100 extremists are positioned near the border, waiting to enter the country.

All the airports in states bordering Pakistan — Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat — along with the facility in the national capital, New Delhi, have received orders to step up their security. Airport security and local police have been told to be vigilant.

"There is no specific threat. But as a precaution, we have put all bordering states airports and in Delhi on high alert," said OP Singh, chief of the Central Industrial Security Force (CSIF), which provides protection to airport facilities. The alert was sounded by the Civil Aviation Security Bureau.

While such high security is routine during the festival season — for the upcoming Dussehra and Diwali festivals — additional protection has now been given as authorities are concerned over the situation with Pakistan. Security checks of passengers and their baggage are to be beefed up.

All the four northern Indian states have already been on alert over multiple cross-border episodes with Pakistan in recent weeks. The de facto border region, known as Line of Control, between the two distressed neighbours has witnessed a series of activities such as exchange of fire and ceasefire violations in recent days.

On Thursday (6 October), Indian officials claimed they had thwarted a major attack on its army base in Kashmir resulting in multiple militant casualties. Since September, two major India army facilities — in Uri and Baramulla — were attacked by militants in quick succession. To quell such attacks in future, the Indian side claimed it had launched "surgical strikes" on militant launchpads on 29 September but this has been strongly contested by the Pakistani government.