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Security was upped in and around the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh, Durgiana temple and other key places following claims made on Wednesday by a Pakistani Taliban faction that its fighters were holed up in Amritsar to carry out attacks to avenge the hanging of 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab.

The intelligence wing of the Punjab police, which has been put on high alert following the claims, has also detected a flurry of phone calls made to Pakistan.

According to a senior Punjab cop, the state’s intelligence has tracked about 1,950 calls made between Pakistan and Punjab’s Amritsar and Ferozepur districts during a four-day period between November 21 and 24.

These calls were tracked just hours after 26/11 Mumbai attacks convict Ajmal Kasab was executed in Yerwada Jail in Pune.

“Generally, the call volume does not go beyond 100-200 in a month. Most of them are between relatives, artists or traders. These calls are under observation,” said a senior police official attached with the intelligence wing.

Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal dismissed any imminent terror threat in Amritsar or anywhere else in Punjab. He, however, said that state’s intelligence was “vigilant enough to thwart any such attack plans”.

“First of all, the state police have not received any alert from the Union ministry of home affairs. Their personnel man the sensitive border areas. Second, we are ourselves vigilant and capable enough to handle and foil terrorist attacks, Badal Jr, who also holds the home portfolio, told TOI.

Over 350 unregistered Pakistan SIM cards have been seized in the past two years by theIntelligence Bureau in several regions of Punjab and Rajasthan.

According to the government officials, police and BSF have been put on alert following the claims. “We have already made sufficient security arrangements in Amritsar but I am still to get any official communication on the Taliban threat,” said Amritsar police commissioner Ram Singh.

The BSF, on the other hand, held a meeting with Pakistani rangers in the wake of the threat. BSF inspector general (Frontier) Aditya Mishra said beating the retreat ceremony was one of the soft targets.

“We held a meeting with Pakistan Rangers officials and have told them to be on alert and enhance security on their side,” said Mishra.

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