K.V. Subramanya

CHICKBALLAPUR: In view of the investigations revealing that the terrorists who carried out the recent attacks in Mumbai had taken the sea route to reach that city, the Karnataka Government is taking steps to strengthen the coastal security in the State.

The report of a judicial commission submitted to the then State Government almost a decade ago pointed to a sea route used by terrorists to smuggle explosives from Pakistan to Karnataka. No action was taken on the report. The Justice Kedambadi Jagannath Shetty Commission, which inquired into the communal violence that took place in the coastal town of Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada district in 1993, mentions in its report of a confidential intelligence note on the Bhatkal shores being used for smuggling explosives from Pakistan.

After the then Uttara Kannada Deputy Commissioner deposed before the Commission that he and the district Superintendent of Police had received a note from the State Intelligence in 1993 stating that an RDX consignment was being smuggled into Bhatkal, Mr. Shetty, a former High Court judge, had asked him to produce the said letter before the commission.

The confidential note from the State Intelligence mentioned that a consignment of RDX was being smuggled from Khorkan in Pakistan to Bhatkal in a fishing vessel, Al-Shaheen.

But, till now the security agencies are not aware of what happened to the RDX consignment.

No action

Although the commission in its over 1,000-page report provided details of how Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) through its secret agents was carrying out disruptive activities in Bhatkal and had suggested certain security measures in the wake of it, successive Governments have not taken any action.

The commission, in its report, submitted to the Government in 1997, had recommended to the Government to constitute a special intelligence wing to tackle communal violence; declare Bhatkal as “trouble-prone communally hyper-sensitive area” and set up an autonomous community relations council accountable only to the legislature, to ensure communal harmony.

Ironically, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that had created a ruckus in the Legislative Assembly on several occasions in the past urging the then Governments to make public the details of the report and implement its recommendations, has now remained silent even though its own Government has been in the office for the past six months.