Saturday, March 13, 2010

Security stepped up at Jewish Synagogue, church in Kochi

KOCHI: Commandos have been posted at the Jewish Synagogue at Mattancherry, the oldest place of worship of the Jewish community in the Commonwealth region, and St Francis church at Fort Kochi following a Union Home Ministry alert about a possible terror strike in the city.

Police said 10 commandos each have been posted at St Francis church and the Synagogue. A Quick Reaction Team of Kerala police are among those manning the two heritage sites in the light of intelligence inputs that Lashkar-e-Toiba militants may attempt to strike in the city.

The remains of Potuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama was first buried at St Francis church before it was taken to his country.

Police said sea patrolling has been intensified and vehicles are also being checked.

Kochi Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham convened a meeting of officials of Cochin Port, Cochin Shipyard, Navy, Coast Guard, Central Industrial Security Force and five star hotels Saturday and asked them to heighten security.

Kochi houses various important installations, including Southern Naval Command and Cochin Shipyard Ltd, where Indias first indigenously developed aircraft carrier is being built.

Security has also been stepped up at Kochi airport and High Court premises, as also at two Hotels of the Taj group.

Union Home Secretary G K Pillai had Friday informed the Kochi Police Commissioner and asked him to beef up security in and around Kochi.

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