Monday, November 1, 2010
Obama's visit: Terrorist planning attacks, security cover tightens
Ahead of the important visit of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India security arrangement across India are at an unprecedented high. Security arrangements are not restricted just to the cities that the US president would be visiting, but there has been a general advisory to all police chiefs across the country to step up security in their respective states.
The intelligence bureau has picked up at least 18 alerts and intercepts ahead of this high profile visit and sources in the intelligence bureau say that 6 are specific in nature. IB sources told rediff.com that there are threats specific to the places that the President will visit, but terror groups are planning on carrying out attacks in other parts of the country. They are fully aware that it will be next to impossible to penentrate into the cities where the President would visit, but they will try and attack places in a big way in order to cause embarrassment to the Indian establishment.
Home Secretary of India, G K Pillai had said recently that there are intercepts specific to Jammu and Kashmir since terror groups would be trying to make a point over there. He also said that terror groups had undertaken a similar operation ahead of the visit by George W Bush.
The IB says that over the past couple of weeks there has been a build up in the Valley and the state administration has been specifically told to beef up security in those areas. Terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba will be looking to carry out an attack in the Valley since they would want the US to express solidarity with their movement over there. Based on this input, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah has already begun reviewing security with top officials. The J&K police would not want a repeat of the Chattisingphora village incident in which 36 sikhs were gunned down ahead of the Bush visit in the year 2000.
In the Valley, the police have been relying heavily on the Indian army to ensure that no untoward incident occurs when the president visits India. There has been stepped up vigil on the borders in order to avoid any sort of infiltration. In addition to this all locals are being checked and scrutinized, sources told rediff.com.
According to the intercepts terror outfits are attempting to carry out fidayeen strikes on a large scale especially in the Valley. In addition to this they are also planning on hostage crisis which according to them causes the maximum impact.
Security in Delhi too has been beefed up. The Delhi police will press in at least 8 rings of security the president and traffic will be completely cleared off the road when he travels. This security is in addition to the security the President would already come with when he visits India. All the places which the president will visit will be out of bounds for the public, the Delhi police have said. The Delhi police will work in tandem with the para military forces for the security of the US President.
In Mumbai too the security would be similar but due to the numerous high rise buildings in the city, sharp shooters will be deployed. The people will be advised not to loiter around unecessarily where the President would be visiting and any suspicious movement will not be tolerated the police say. Unwanted vehicular movement will be curbed at the time of the visit, police sources say. The Mumbai police will also have for their support additional forces both from other states and also para military forces to guard the US president.
The existing security of the President is already tight and they would be working in tandem with their Indian counterparts during the visit. There is a security review on a daily basis and all information and steps taken are being shared with the US agencies sources also pointed out.
In the wake of the alert put out by the IB, security in other parts of the country too have been beefed up. Checking at public places, identifying new comers into a city are all being taken care of at the moment. Since there are attempts being made to divert the entire attention of the Obama visit, security agencies have been directed to take all measures to prevent any untoward incident which would cause embarassment at the time of this visit.