Gujarat on high alert, 4 NSG teams rushed

A CISF trooper stands guard at the Ahmedabad airport in Gujarat on Sunday. Vijay Soneji

A CISF trooper stands guard at the Ahmedabad airport in Gujarat on Sunday. Vijay Soneji  

According to officials in the intelligence, a group of terrorists has possibly infiltrated into the State.

In the wake of intelligence inputs regarding a possible terror strike by 8-10 LeT operatives, four teams of National Security Guard (NSG) were rushed to Gujarat to strengthen the security cover at vital installations and famous pilgrimage centres in the state.

Top officials in the state claimed that Pakistan's National Security Advisor (NSA) Naseer Khan Janjua informed his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval about a group of fidayeen from the Lashkar-E-Taiba and Jaish-e Muhammed cadres on a mission to a major terror strike in the state.

Following message from General Janjua, India's NSA Mr Doval sent a detailed note to the Intelligence Bureau (IB) which issued an alert warning the security agencies in Gujarat about the putative strike particularly at "some coastal pilgrimage centres in Saurashtra or Kutch."

"We have received four teams of NSGs, who have been deployed in Ahmedabad and Somnath temple. Along with the state police, NSG personnel are on stand by mode," said Gujarat's DGP PC Thakur, who also issued a notification cancelling leaves of all police officials and personnel asking them to report on duty immediately.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel told the media in national capital that the authorities had taken all measures so there was no need to worry about. “There is nothing to worry about. We are taking appropriate security measures.” Mrs Patel said.

"Somnath temple on Saurashtra coast is on high alert with beefed up security ahead of Shivratri festival on Monday," Mr Thakur said.

Meanwhile, all public functions to celebrate Shivratri at historical Somnath temple have been cancelled following the alert.

The state police have also heightened security cover to another historical pilgrimage centre Dwarka and Bhavnath in Junagadh where a huge fair is organized on Shivratri.

“We have received inputs from the Intelligence Bureau that around 8-10 terrorists of LeT or JeM have entered Gujarat. The BSF, Police, Coast Guard and other agencies are working on the inputs and combing operations have are underway to hunt the militants," said Gujarat border range IG AK Jadeja.

On Saturday late night, Gujarat's additional Chief Secretary (Home) PK Taneja held a marathon meeting with top police officials and also representatives from BSF, Coast Guard and other agencies to take stock of the security deployment at sensitive and vulnerable places in the state after the IB shared its inputs.

In Gujarat, this is a second major alert about a possible terror strike in the state, which shares land and sea border with neighboring Pakistan.

Earlier, Indian Coast Guard and ministry of defence had claimed to have intercepted an explosive-laden boat off Gujarat coast, which originated from Pakistan on 2014 New Year’s Eve after thorough surveillance. Defence Ministry had claimed that the occupants on board refused to cooperate after being intercepted and blew up the boat.

The government officials had later identified the purported Pakistani fishing boat as Qalandar and said that they had intelligence to suggest that it was due for an “illicit transaction at sea”. The incident had become controversial and the Indian government had even sacked a top Coast Guard official BK Lashali for "contradicting the official stand" on the issue.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 4:04:08 AM |

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