Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kochi on alert after Lashkar threat

KOCHI: The Union home ministry has asked Kerala Police to step up security in Kochi following Intelligence inputs that Lashkar-e-Taiba militants may attempt to strike the coastal city.

Following the inputs, Union home secretary Gopal K Pillai spoke to Kochi police commissioner Manoj Abraham and asked him to beef up security in and around the city, official sources said.

The commercial capital of Kerala hosts Southern Command of Indian Navy, a famous Jewish synagogue, Kochi Shipyard and some other sensitive installations.

The Kochi backwaters frequented by foreign and domestic tourists, are also believed to be under the radar of terror groups. International cruise ships and yachts are often anchored at the Kochi harbour.

When contacted, Kerala home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that in Thiruvananthapuram that the state DGP received some information from the Centre and steps have been taken on that basis.

High alert machinery has been put on active mode following the receipt of the information, sources said. The security at the nearby Nedumbassery International Airport and coastal surveillance had been increased, they said.

The Kadaloram Jagratta samitis, a committee of fishermen, have been asked to be on the lookout for any suspicious movements on the coastal stretches. The Centre had recently put on alert Bangalore, Mumbai and Union territory of Puducherry about possible terror attacks

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