Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Terror alert in Gujarat, security stepped up in Delhi

Security at all vital and sensitive locations beefed up, NSG teams deployed after Pakistan security advisor communicated about terrorist infiltration

Ahmedabad/New Delhi: Gujarat was on high alert on Sunday following intelligence inputs that terrorists have sneaked into the state, with raids being conducted at Kutch and other places, security beefed up at vital installations and sensitive areas and NSG teams on standby.

The leave of all police personnel, including officers, has been cancelled and the state government has increased security at all the main temples of the state for Maha Shivaratri festival on Monday. A massive security operation has been launched and raids were conducted by a police team, led by South Kutch Superintendent of Police Makrand Chauhan, early this morning in Varnora village of Bhuj taluka in Kutch district bordering Pakistan, police sources said.

The Kutch police also raided Noorani Mahel hotel and Muslim Jamat Khana in Bhuj, they said.

“The state government received a serious information from central government yesterday that terrorists have entered Gujarat. We held a meeting where it was discussed that all measures will be taken to ensure no untoward incident takes place," Gujarat minister of state for home Rajni Patel said.

With Maha Shivaratri festival on Monday, the state government has also increased security at all the main temples. “Especially during Maha Shivratri, lakhs of pilgrims visit temples in Junagadh, Somnath and other temples. So we have issued high alert for security of these temples too," Patel said.

Two National Security Guard (NSG) teams comprising nearly 200 personnel have been sent from Delhi to Gujarat to meet any eventuality, official sources said. Policemen were seen patrolling the highways since early morning. Security of all the Air Force and Army bases has also been ramped up.

“The Centre has offered all help and NSG task-force has arrived here which is currently being briefed about the various (vital and sensitive) locations," he said.

“We have alerted coastal as well as border police near Kutch to take all necessary steps to beef-up security. In Kutch, we have asked the local police to remain in co-ordination with Border Security Force (BSF)," he said.

“Till now, we have not found any suspicious person. However, whatever information is received by us is serious and we are taking all necessary steps about it," Patel said.

State Director General of Police P. C. Thakur, who issued orders late last night cancelling leave of all policemen, said they were prepared to deal with any situation.

“We are on high alert and prepared to deal with any situation. We have started combing operations across various locations. We have also sensitised places that see high rate of footfall," Thakur said.

“We are taking all precautions. Security across coastal areas and other vital installations has been increased. If required, NSG team will be deployed as per their protocol," he said.

On reports claiming that Pakistan alerted Indian authorities about the possible infiltration of terrorists in Gujarat, state Director General of Police (IB & CID) Pramod Kumar said the state Intelligence Bureau received information from the Central IB.

“We don’t know anything about Pakistan’s role in providing this information. We received this information from Central IB. I don’t know anything more than that," said Kumar.

Tight vigil is being kept at railway stations and airports. Notably, a Pakistani fishing boat was seized on Friday by a BSF patrol party after its occupants fled upon seeing the border security personnel in the Koteshwar creek area off the Kutch coast along the Indo-Pakistan border.

BSF officials had said that nothing suspicious was found in the boat.

The national capital was on Sunday put on high alert and security was beefed up at vital installations, important buildings and crowded places after Delhi Police received inputs about a potential terror strike in the city by 10 suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants who are learnt to have entered India through Gujarat.

In view of the input, Delhi Police on Sunday heightened its vigil near iconic buildings and military installations in the national capital and security arrangements were stepped up near prominent malls, hospitals, schools and colleges in the city, a police source said.

He further said, the input specifically mentions about 10 militants of LeT and Jaish-e-Mohammed JeM outfits having entered India via Gujarat and that they could carry out a terror strike in Delhi.

The Special Cell and Crime Branch of Delhi Police have been briefed about the input separately, so that activities of gangs operating in and around the city and elements with suspected terror links can be monitored.

The police are also ensuring that CCTV cameras at all places with high footfall, like popular markets in the city and metro stations are functional. Patrolling across the city has been intensified, the source added.

A high alert was sounded in Gujarat on Saturday after Pakistan National Security Adviser (NSA) Nasir Khan Janjua communicated to his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval about the terrorist infiltration.

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