For 4 days, they lived in fear, suspense
For four days they lived in fear and suspense. About 3,000 families of Air Force personnel based at Pathankot and some from foreign countries on a training programme here, remained bottled up in their quarters following the terror strike.
With the IAF restricting access to the airbase and curbing movement as a safety measure, there was little those residing inside the airbase could do, except wait for the operation to end. Only a few personnel were allowed to move out, depending on their nature of duty or because of some exigency.
The terrorists failed in gaining access to the technical area where aircraft are based and were pinned down in the domestic area that houses offices, a school, residences and other administrative facilities.
While the terrorists, according to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, were neutralised within the first 36 hours, residents at the airbase could not move around till the area was sanitised and declared clear of any unexploded ordnance or IEDs. This, of course, affected their daily chores and they were unable to stock up essential house-hold supplies. Some arrangements were made by the local Air Force in this regard, sources said.
But in the rest of the town, life remained normal with people going about their daily business, unruffled.There were no more curious onlookers in the vicinity of the airbase today. At a cluster of houses along the wall adjoining the main entrance of the airbase, several kites were seen flying all throughout the day, with excited children gathering around vendors to buy more. As for the market across the road, it was business as usual.