The state government has sanctioned Rs 75 lakh for installing 1000 state-of-the-art closed circuit televison cameras in the border districts of Gurdaspur, Batala and Pathankot.“Nearly a thousand points have been identified where these cameras will be installed. Although the BSF has its own mechanism to track down infiltrators set up close to wire fencing on the border, police will fix cameras in the periphery. Some vantage points like petrol pumps, district sealing points (places where two or more police districts meet), state and national highways, hotels, banks, road intersections and crowded places like schools, colleges and stadiums have also been identified,” Pathankot Senior Superintendent of Police Rakesh Kaushal said on Tuesday.Punjab Police felt the need for close surveillance after two terrorist attacks — the Gurdaspur attack in July last year and the predawn strike at a military installation in Pathankot in January this year. Although there were images of the three militants that laid siege to Dinanagar Police Station on July 27, 2015, through a private bank’s surveillance camera, there were none for the Pathankot strike.“The lack of footage became an impediment to NIA’s investigations. This is perhaps one reason why the security agencies remained confused for several weeks about the exact number of militants that had entered the airbase,” an officer said.The Indian Air Force is now believed to have set up cameras on the rear part of their Pathankot airbase — the route militants took to enter the installation in January.“Cameras are a valuable aid of to survey urban places, such as schools, hospitals, railway stations and bus stands. This technology enables ubiquitous supervision of public and private spaces and adds to the capabilities of the police in crime detection crime,” Batala SSP DS Dhillon said.Four gunmen had attacked an airbase of the Indian Air Force in Pathankot on January 2. The terrorist strike — blamed on the militant Jaish-e-Mohammed of Pakistan — left seven security men and all attackers dead.Three armed militants had fired on a bus and laid siege on a police station in Gurdaspur’s Dinanagar on July 27, 2015. Seven policemen had been killed in the daylong standoff.
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