Gujarat steps up security after high terror alert

Ahmedabad, March 6 (IANS) Two teams of the National Security Guards (NSG) landed in Gujarat on Sunday following a high alert sounded by the central government amid reports that 10 terrorists from Jash-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba have entered the coastal state.

“The Gujarat Police are on alert. The state government had asked the Centre to send NSG teams, which have also arrived,” the state’s Home Minister Rajanikant Patel told reporters here.

He said, “We have issued high alert and beefed up security at all key installations.”

The state government was galvanized into action, stepping up security across Gujarat, especially the coastal borders with Pakistan, after a note sent by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval about the suspected infiltration of fidayeens (suicide attackers).

Ajit Doval’s note came after Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Nasir Janjua called him up and confided in him that 10 terrorists from the two Pakistan-based outfits have entered Gujarat, according to official sources.

The officials said police stations have been asked to carry out combing operations at hotels and guest houses. Forces have been moved around shopping malls, cinema halls and bus stands. And security personnel on leave have been called back from their furlough.

Besides Kutch district, which shares land and maritime borders with Pakistan, heavy patrolling and checking has begun along Gujarat’s border with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Important monuments, pilgrimage centres like the ancient Somnath and Dwarka temples, and Akashardham temple in Gandhinagar which had come under terrorist attack on September 24, 2002, as well as power plants, dams, defence and security establishments have been put on alert.

The central agencies are investigating the discovery of five abandoned fishing boats near Sir Creek on the Kutch coast over the last three months, including one found by a Border Security Force (BSF) patrol on Friday.

The boat found on Friday is 20 feet long and 10 feet wide. Some ration, water jugs, fishing nets, crabs, diesel and mattresses were found on board.

Meanwhile, Gujarat’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) P.K. Taneja held a meeting with the top officials of the armed forces, police, Intelligence Bureau and paramilitary forces.

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