Karnataka put on high alert over year-end terror threat

Monday, December 27, 2010

BANGALORE - Police and paramilitary forces in Karnataka, particularly in the coastal areas, have been placed on high alert following warnings of possible terror strikes in the coming days, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said here Monday.

“A high alert has been sounded in the state, especially in coastal districts following advice from the central government,” he told reporters after a meeting with senior bureaucrats and police officers.

A contingent of 550 paramilitary force personnel has arrived in the state and would be deployed at Bangalore to help the state police, Yeddyurappa said.

Army commandos were also training 200 state police personnel in anti-terror operations, he said.

Karnatakas coastline extends over 300 km along the Arabian Sea nad has two major ports - New Mangalore in Dakshina Kannada district and Karwar in Uttara Kannada district - and ten minor ports.

Mangalore is about 350 km and Karwar around 550 km west of Bangalore.

The beaches, particularly in Uttara Kannada district, have become a major tourist attraction, particularly among foreign visitors. Uttara Kannada borders Goa, a popular tourist destination.

Government sources said central agencies have informed the state of possible terror strikes at places of worship and popular spots, specially those frequented by foreigners.

Yeddyurappa said, however, there was no information of terrorists entering the state.

Home Minister R. Ashoka, Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath, Bangalore’s Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari, Home Secretary K. M. Shivakumar attended the meeting.

Bidari later told reporters that an additional police force would be deployed at crowded places like main city and inter-state bus stand in the heart of the city, malls, shopping areas, the railway station and the airport.

Bangalore has seen three terror strikes in the past five years.

The first strike was Dec 28, 2005, at the prestigious Indian Institute of Science. M.C. Puri, Professor Emeritus in the mathematics department of Delhi’s Indian Institute of Technology, was killed in the strike.

A series of nine low intensity explosions left one woman dead and 15 injured in July 2008.

In April this year, two crude devices went off at the Chinnaswamy Stadium ahead of an Indian Premier Leagure T20 cricket match, injuring five people.

Filed under: Terrorism

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