Residents of Amritsar in Punjab on Friday morning tweeted that they heard “two loud sounds” around 1 am. The city lies very close to the India-Pakistan border.
However, the Punjab Police said “everything is okay”. “I appeal to the people to not believe in rumours on social media,” Amritsar Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Jagjit Singh Walia told ANI. “Everything is okay. As per our information nothing has happened.”
Tweets suggested the sounds were heard around 1 am. Some users believed these were “sonic booms”, caused by air force jets. Sonic boom is generated by shock waves when an object travels through the air faster than the speed of sound.
#Amritsar started trending soon.
Senior Superintendent of Police (rural) Parampal Singh told the Hindustan Times that the loud sound was a sonic boom of the fighter jets of the Indian Air Force. “The Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out an exercise last night during which many fighter jets flew near the India-Pakistan border in Amritsar at supersonic speeds,” the police official said.
ANI reported, citing sources, that Indian Air Force jets carried out a “major readiness exercise” over Punjab and Jammu, using many fighter aircraft. “During the exercise, IAF jets, including frontline aircraft, flew at supersonic speeds in the border districts including Amritsar,” it said.
Relations between India and Pakistan have been tense following a terrorist attack on a Central Reserve Police Force convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14. The Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack.
In response, India carried out air strikes in Balakot area of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on February 26, targeting a camp of the terrorist outfit. Pakistani F-16 jets then intruded into the Indian side of the Line of Control the next day, and a dogfight ensued. A MiG-21 jet of the Indian Air Force was shot down in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and a pilot captured. India shot down an F-16 aircraft.
An Indian Air Force Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft shot down a Pakistani drone in the Bikaner Nal sector near the international border in Rajasthan on March 4. India had shot down another Pakistani drone along the border in Gujarat’s Kutch on February 27.