PMO, Guj govt look into MHA claims
Several senior security officials have distanced themselves from comments made by a senior MHA official stating that 3 out of 10 terrorists were killed. The Gujarat government sought clarification whether the killing took place in Gujarat. Meanwhile, the PMO also asked the MHA to provide details, if any, about the alleged encounter and is investigating how such details reached the media.
Pakistan's National Security Advisor Nasir Khan Janjua informed Indian NSA Ajit Doval that 10 terrorists infiltrated into Gujarat through Kutch. The sharing of such intelligence is a first between the two countries whose relations soured after the Pathankot air base attack. Indian agencies suspect that the terrorists infiltrated to carry out attacks during the upcoming Shivratri festival celebrations in India.
Pakistan's NSA Nasir Khan Janjua informed Ajit Doval that the terrorists are suspected to be fidayeen from the Lashkar-E-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammed terrorist organizations.
Home Secretary P K Taneja held high-level meetings in Gandhinagar early morning and late last night. Gujarat was put on high alert following the meeting based on inputs that terrorists infiltrated into the state. Four teams of the National Security Guard (NSG) were dispatched to the state and authorities canceled the leave of all police personnel. Crowded places were secured with increased police presence.
"We are on high alert and prepared to deal any situation. We have started combing operations across various locations. We have also sensitised places that see high rate of footfall." - Gujarat DGP, PC Thakur.
Police sources stated that all entry and exit points to sensitive locations in the state are being monitored. Surat police issued notifications of carrying out vehicle checks at different places, including entry and exit points of Surat, Navsari, Dangs, Tapi and Valsad. The Ahmedabad and Vadodara airports have also been placed on high alert and security has been beefed up to secure the area.
As Gujarat remained on high alert after warnings of possible terror attacks, BSF personnel found a suspicious boat at Porbandar. Sources stated that two foreign nationals were arrested in connection with the boat. The recovery of the boat comes just days after the BSF recovered three abandoned Pakistani boats off the coast of Kutch district on 4 March.
In the wake of intelligence inputs suggesting some terrorists may have sneaked into Gujarat via the sea route, the Maharashtra and Delhi Police issued an alert of possible attacks on sensitive locations. Officials said that all unit chiefs have been asked to ensure that security is maintained at places with high footfall. However, NSG teams have not been dispatched to Maharashtra or Delhi yet.
Security agencies have neutralised 3 of the 10 suspected Pakistani terrorists, who had recently infiltrated into Indian Territory from Gujarat. A Ministry of Home Affairs official said the three terrorists were neutralized in an unnamed western state. The official added that the location of the remaining 7 terrorists have been identified and operations were on to capture or eliminate them.