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Himachal on high alert after bomb scare on New Year’s eve

The tourists were told to return to their boarding places citing Covid concerns as we didn’t want to scare people or cause chaos.

Statesman News Service | SHIMLA |

Himachal Pradesh is on high alert after intelligence input on possible terror attack at the historic Ridge Ground in Shimla on New Year which led to the area being cleared of tourists on Friday evening, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Saturday.

The Ridge Ground which was brimming with tourists on Friday evening to usher in New Year, were asked to clear the area and return to their hotels, spoiling the holiday mood of revellers.

Talking to media, Thakur said a specific input was received late in the evening on Friday that terrorist may carry out momb blast on the Ridge Ground after which the area was cleared of tourists.

The tourists were told to return to their boarding places citing Covid concerns as we didn’t want to scare people or cause chaos.

“The important installations in the state are still under threat and the police officials have been asked to maintain close watch to avoid any untoward incident.

We have held a high level meeting after the intelligence input was received and strict vigil is being maintained across the state as the alert was for New Year’s eve or on New Year,” he added.

He expressed gratitude to Indian Army as a bomb disposal unit had reached the spot late in the evening to sanitise the entire area from Chandi Mandir and stated that the state government was in touch with Union Home ministry.

He further stated that bomb squad and dog squad searched the entire area but no suspicious person or material has been found as yet.

He also condoled the death of pilgrims at Vaishnodevi Shrine and added it was an unfortunate incident in which 14 pilgrims who had gone to take blessings on New Year, had been killed.