Taxi hired in Pathankot missing

CHANDIGARH: A missing taxi and its driver, found mysteriously dead, have triggered a new alert by the police ahead of the January 26 Republic Day celebration.

The taxi was hired from Pathankot, the site of a terror attack earlier this month. It has not been found. This is the second missing vehicle since a police officer’s car with a beacon was stolen in the early hours of Wednesday.

Three persons hired the white Alto taxi from Pathankot earlier this week, say the police.  The body of the driver, identified as Vijay Kumar, was found on Wednesday in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra.

The Delhi Police has tweeted a warning along with details of the car and tagged the media. The car’s registration number is HP01D2440.

An alert was earlier issued for the SUV of a senior border police officer, which was stolen from Noida near Delhi. The brand new Tata Safari was stolen from the home of Anand Swarup, the Inspector General of the Indo Tibetan Border Police or ITBP.

The missing vehicles have caused alarm weeks after the January 2 Pathankot attack, in which the stolen car of a police officer played a role. The blue beacon on the Mahindra XUV car of police officer Salwinder Singh helped the terrorists get past several check posts a day before the January 2 attack.

Police across India are on guard ahead of Republic Day, which will feature French President Francois Hollande as Chief Guest.

Yesterday, a letter warning against President Hollande’s visit was delivered to the French consulate in Bengaluru. The letter was reportedly mailed from Chennai.

French envoy Francois Richier said today he is “not sure if the threat is credible though security is unprecedented in Delhi given the overall threat perception.”

A recent review of security, customary ahead of Republic Day, was led by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and officials concluded that an ISIS threat “is very real”.

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