New Delhi: Security was beefed up at Kandla and Mundra ports and other key installations in Gujarat's Kutch district following intelligence inputs of a possible infiltration by terrorists through the sea route, police said on Thursday.
According to the inputs, Pakistani commandos may infiltrate through sea route using "small boats" to create "communal disturbance or terrorist attack" in Gujarat. Sources said that BSF and Indian Coast Guard along with other security agencies have been put on high alert. Enhanced vigil and patrolling in the area is underway, a source said.
The Mundra port, run by the Adani group, is one of the largest in the country and last year topped the rankings by volumes, while the state-run Kandla port is a large bulk handling facility. Both the ports are located in the Gulf of Kutch in the Arabian Sea, in close vicinity of Pakistan.
The same region also supports many critical installations, including the world's largest oil refinery at Jamnagar run by Reliance Industries and also a similar facility operated by Russian giant Rosneft at Vadinar.
"We receive inputs about possible terrorist infiltrations from time to time and we have enhanced the security at all vital installations in Kutch district, including the Kandla port," Inspector General of Police (border range) DB Vaghela said.
"In fact, security was stepped up even before August 15 (Independence Day). There is no specific input that terrorists have entered Gujarat, but a general input that they can enter using the sea route," he said.
Following intelligence inputs and instructions from the Gujarat Director General of Police, security has been enhanced at all vital installations in Kutch, Anjar's Deputy Superintendent of Police Dhananjay Vaghela told reporters.
"We have received inputs that terrorists can enter through the sea route," he said, adding that the police and other security agencies have increased patrolling and the marine police force has also been pressed into service.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh had recently indicated that an "underwater wing" of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) is training people to carry out attacks in India. He said all stakeholders in coastal security are ensuring that there is no intrusion from the sea.
A statement by Adani Ports and SEZ said: "inputs had been received from coast guard station that Pakistan-trained commandos have entered the Gulf of Kutch through the Harami Nala creek area and they are believed to be trained with underwater attacks."
"It is therefore directed to take utmost measures of security and prevent any untoward situation in Gujarat state. It is advised that all ships at Mundra port take utmost security measures and maintain a vigilant watch," the statement reads.
The alert has come just days before Ganesh Chaturthi, a major festival in the western region. Goa Police have also sounded an alert across the state and stepped up security arrangements ahead of the 10-day festival, which begins on September 2.
"Goa has been put on alert. With the state being a tourist destination, the possibility of a terror threat cannot be ruled out," Deputy Inspector General of Police Paramaditya said. He, however, did not mention any specific terror threat input for the coastal state.
A few days ago, Tamil Nadu was also put on high alert following intelligence inputs that a six-member group of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) had infiltrated the state. "Kerala has been on a high watch from last Thursday evening. Inspections have been strengthened along the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, especially in Palakkad, Thrissur and Ernakulam districts," said sources.