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After terror alert,cops scan CCTV footage from Jamnagar refineries

Days after the Intelligence Bureau alerted the state police that five terrorists from Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) may have entered Gujarat to target refineries and other vital installations in and around Jamnagar,the Special Operation Group has begun scanning CCTV footages from these facilities to ascertain if any of the suspects had entered their premises for a recce in the recent past.

Written by Hiral Dave | Rajkot |
May 9, 2012 6:32:43 am

Days after the Intelligence Bureau alerted the state police that five terrorists from Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) may have entered Gujarat to target refineries and other vital installations in and around Jamnagar,the Special Operation Group has begun scanning CCTV footages from these facilities to ascertain if any of the suspects had entered their premises for a recce in the recent past.

The police,which released the sketches of five suspects about five days ago,are especially looking at the possibility of the suspects having used fake driving licences to enter these facilities posing as drivers of oil tankers. They have already interrogated a local driver from Rajkot district,one Hitesh,after IB sent a copy of his licence along with photos of suspected terrorists.

There have been several incidents in the past when fake driving licences and gate passes for entry into Reliance,ESSAR and GSFC facilities were seized in bulk.

“Through CCTV footages,we are trying to verify whether five photos of suspects match any one who might have entered refineries run by Reliance and ESSAR or the Gujarat State Fertiliser Corporation facility recently,” said an official from Jamnagar SOG. “Also under the scanner is Hitesh,a local driver who goes for loading and off-loading at Moti Khavdi Reliance Refinery. We are tring to check if he entered any of these facilities in the past two months.”

The SOG,however,said footages older than two months are not available.

During interrogation,Hitesh reportedly said he got his licence made in 2007 but did not know how his licence landed into the hands of suspected terrorists.

“Hitesh has been released after interrogation. But the investigation is on,” said Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Manoj Shashidhar.

Private refineries have also been running an exhaustive check on the background of the drivers who are issued gate passes,said R H Hadia,a police inspector with Jamnagar SOG.

In 2006,a year before Hitesh got his licence from Gujarat Road Transport Office,as many as 400 fake licences,entry passes and vehicle entry passes for Reliance,ESSAR and GSFC facilities were seized from one Guru Krupa Photo Studio,located in Moti Khavdi,a small distance away from the Reliance refinery.

Two persons,identified as Kamal Singh and Ricky Singh who hailed from Bihar,were then arrested.

The duo allegedly used documents of drivers who came to get passport-size photos and photo-copies of their identity documents to forge identity cards for entry into refineries.

Meanwhile,Hitesh’s fate is still uncertain. Though he was let off by SOG after interrogation,a copy of his driving licence,along with his photo,continue to be along side the photos of suspected terrorists in posters that police have pasted across Ahmedabad and Jamnagar.

“Hitesh has not been given a clean chit. Investigation is on. That’s why copy of his licence still feature in the poster,” said Director General of Police Chitranjan Singh.

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