In an attempt towards assessing the preparedness of the Chennai City Police in case of a terrorist attack, a 48-hour mock operation, code named ‘Hamla 2’, commenced here on Thursday morning.

The drill took the city’s residents by surprise but was highly successful.

Police teams combed the airport, railway stations, hospitals, beaches and other vital installations and apprehended 17 decoys.

‘Hamla 2’, an operation orchestrated by the Chennai City Police in coordination with the Indian Navy, the Indian Coast Guard and the Coastal Security Group, kickstarted around 6 a.m. in Chennai and along other costal locations of Tamil Nadu up to Kanyakumari. This follows ‘Hamla 1’, which took place six months ago.

The drill that is being carried out in various stages includes the deploying of police teams to protect high value targets, collecting of intelligence on the coast line, interception of intrusions, detection of any sabotage material and interrogation of intruders.

“We deployed police personnel including the bomb squad, quick reaction teams, quick response units, logistics and liaison teams and interrogation teams at vital points in the city. Thorough vehicle checks and baggage checks were carried out,” said a senior officer in charge of Operation Hamla 2.

According to police sources, the first of the ‘infiltrators’ were rounded-up by a police team at Kannathur on Thursday morning. Four State commandos who entered the city in the guise of armed terrorists were also apprehended. While two more were detained at Neelankarai and four were nabbed at the Kasimedu Fishing Harbour towards the afternoon. Three Indian Navy commandos who infiltrated with machine guns and a bomb were intercepted near the INS Adyar on Marina Beach and arrested. Seven commandos were arrested at mid-sea before they could disembark at the Ennore beach.

A total of 17 detainees were taken to the Vepery police station and were ascertained to be part of the operation. However, a team of decoys managed to enter the premises of the Government Stanley Hospital on Wednesday afternoon and flee after placing a dummy explosive device at a toilet. Following a threat call received as part of the drill, a bomb squad team rushed to the hospital and removed the device, a source added.

Operation Hamla is expected to continue till 6 a.m. on Saturday.

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