April 16, 2015 8:07:22 pm
THE Gujarat police and central defence and intelligence agencies started their two-day joint drill Sagar Kavach 2015 to check their level coordination and preparedness for protecting the long coastline of the state, on Thursday. The exercise started two days after Intelligence Bureau issued an alert warning anti-national elements can come through sea route and stage attack on Mumbai like 26/11.
Inspector general of Gujarat police for coastal security, BS Jebalia said the exercise involves around 25 agencies including Gujarat police, Indian Coast Guard, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Indian Army, Intelligence Bureau, customs department, state fisheries department etc. The drill, which is like a mock-drill is carried out in around 17 districts of Gujarat which have coastline, police officers said.
The exercise began with a team of police from each district, acting as infiltrators, setting out at sea to turn back and try to attack some installation on the coast. Meanwhile, marine police and local police on the coast have been put on high alert for two days to intercept these infiltrators. IG Jebalia said the exercise was on in many district and that reports were awaited.
“This is an integrated exercise carried out simultaneously in all the districts with a sea coast in the state. Superintendent of police (SP) of respective districts are supervising the drill in their jurisdiction. The objective is to check coordination among agencies which have stake in coast security and level of preparedness,” Jebalia told The Indian Express.
Gujarat has 1600 kilometre long coastline, the longest in the coutry and some 17 districts fall on the sealine. It was the Porbandar-registered fishing trawler Kuber that terrorists from Pakistan hijacked from the Arabian sea and reached Mumbai coast in 2008 to carrying out attacks that left 166 dead.
Brijesh Jha, deputy inspector general of police Junagadh range said Porbandar police had successfully intercepted a boat. “We had told marine police, Special Operation Group and local police that an infiltrators bid might occur over two days. However, they were not told about the place which might come under attack,” said the DIG.
Porbandar SP Girish Pandya said their drill on the first day had remained successful. “Police intercepted one boat of infiltrators near Porbandar port in the morning and second one near Miyani Marine police station in the afternoon. As part of the high alert, police jawan have been deployed at vital installations on the coast,” Pandya further said.
The exercise will continue on Friday also and the DIG said that they will hold debriefing after the drill gets over.
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