Terror alert in Gujarat : Security heightened, raids in Kutch

Sunday, Mar 6, 2016,11:58 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Ahmedabad | Gujarat was today on high alert 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 tomorrow. 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 tomorrow, 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.