Govt tightens security along coastline | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt tightens security along coastline

delhi Updated: Oct 05, 2008 10:17 IST

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With a view to foil any attempt by terrorists to sneak into the mainland through the sea, the government has increased surveillance and patrolling of the country's 7,516-km-long coastline spread across nine states and four Union Territories.

The renewed efforts to tighten security and surveillance in shallow areas close to the coast have been made to counter illegal cross-border activities and criminal acts, including infiltration by terrorists and smuggling of arms and explosives, Home Ministry officials said.

The government's urgency on the matter came in the backdrop of the recent series of blasts in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Agartala which suggested that the nature of the explosives used, the triggering mechanism employed and the placement of explosives were acts of terror modules closely linked to one another.

Intelligence agencies have also cautioned the government that terror groups were trying to use gaps in India's coastline that connect the country to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Maldives, all of which have seen rising terrorist activities, officials said.

They also said there are intelligence inputs of Lashker-e-Taiba trying to set up its bases in uninhabited islands located in high seas around the country.

Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his address at the recent Governors' Conference has said certain terrorists groups were constantly trying to set up new terror modules within the country.

"This is a matter of utmost concern. We have increased vigilance on our borders, coastal security is being tightened," he had said.

The measures have been taken up as part of the government's Coastal Security Scheme launched about three years ago through which it decided to set up 73 coastal police stations, 97 police check posts, 58 outposts and 30 barracks.

Under the scheme, which is being implemented in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal besides Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the coastal police stations are being equipped with 204 boats, 149 jeeps and 312 motorcycles.

Steps are being taken to strengthen joint patrolling off the coast in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Orissa, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh to prevent any attempt by terrorists to smuggle arms and explosives as most of these states have suffered terror strikes in the recent past.