Delhi on alert for LeT strike before Obama visit

  • Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 05, 2014 08:08 IST

A high alert has been sounded in the Capital after credible intelligence inputs suggested that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba jihadis were planning a “sensational terror attack” in the run-up to US President Barack Obama’s two-day visit during the Republic Day next month. The alert has been communicated to the highest levels of the Modi government.

Lashkar has been involved in some of the most deadly terror attacks in India, including Mumbai’s 26/11 massacre.

According to top Delhi Police officials, the intelligence was received this week from security agencies. Police commissioner BS Bassi and other senior officials were briefed on Wednesday in detail on counter-measures needed to extinguish the threat.

Since Obama is the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, the Delhi Police and security agencies have advanced security screening and anti-sabotage check by nearly a month. Rather than tighten security a month before the parade, a decision has been taken to impose blanket measures this week on.

Bassi has alerted all his joint commissioners and intelligence and special cell chiefs. They, in turn, are supposed to sensitise junior colleagues right up to constables on the need to take preventive action.

Security has been tightened around sensitive locations such as Parliament House, Indira Gandhi International Airport, Raisina Hill, India Gate, the city’s Metro network, shopping malls, and cinema halls.

Quick reaction teams (QRTs) are being stationed at key positions to counter an armed attack. As the alert does not give out any details of the attackers or the possible date of the attack, the security agencies have gone into a tizzy, covering all the bases.

Though action has been initiated by the Delhi Police to check activity in hotels, unauthorised lodges in the city’s periphery, the agencies have activated the underground network to monitor any movement of terror modules and sleeper cells across the country.

In the past two years, the security agencies have been able to neutralise the Indian Mujahideen network and the only group active was the Students Islamic Movement of India cadre, who escaped from Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa jail on October 1, 2013.

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