State on high alert after intel inputs on terrorist infiltration in Gujarat

CM holds meeting with top officials from IB, RAW, Police, Central forces and home dept to review internal security.

Written by Shubhangi Khapre | Mumbai | Published:March 7, 2016 3:39 am

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis convened an emergency internal security meeting Sunday after receiving inputs from the Centre about possible infiltration of terrorists in the neighbouring state of Gujarat.

The threat comes ahead of the Mahashivratri festival, which is on Monday, when temples in the state witness heavy footfalls.

Fadnavis reviewed the coordination and preparedness among the various security wings — Maharashtra Police, Central agencies, Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

“A review on preparedness of forces, deployment strategy and sensitisation of all unit commanders was discussed in details at the internal meeting,” said the CM.

The government received input from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs late Saturday night that there were reports of some infiltration of terrorists in Gujarat.

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The Centre also sounded the state about abandoned boats in coastal Gujarat. While it has rushed four teams of National Security Guards to Gujarat, the state has also taken into account its requirement following the development.

Sources in the government said the 720-km coastal stretch of Maharashtra (which joins the Gujarat waters) had been put on alert with greater deployment of forces.

Top officials discussed the sensitive points needed to be further clamped along the coastal stretch, in coordination with the Navy and the Air Force.

All religious places, especially temples, have been put on alert with additional police forces deployed ahead of Mahashivratri. The list of temples include Mumbadevi, Siddhivinayak, Babulnath and Mahalaxmi in Mumbai, apart from others across the state. Several thousand devotees throng all important temples, especially those dedicated to Lord Shiva, on Mahashivratri.

All important temple trustees have been asked to also ensure their own security system in place to enable forces to regulate the crowd and keep high vigil.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Additional Chief Secretary K P Bakshi said, “Following alert from the Centre on terrorist infiltration in Gujarat, security along the Maharashtra borders and all sensitive religious and the coastal stretch have been beefed up.” He said additional forces, both from the Centre and the state, had been put on stand-by.

The state police have been asked to retain maximum force. As a result, sanctioning of leave has been put on hold.

Sources said sharing of information between the Centre, Gujarat and Maharashtra would also be closely monitored.

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