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Goa on high alert after Mumbai attacks

In wake of the terror attacks in neighbouring Mumbai, Goa, the state with highest foreign tourist arrivals in the country, has stepped up security in the coastal belt and hotels.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2008 11:38 IST

In wake of the terror attacks in neighbouring Mumbai, Goa, the state with highest foreign tourist arrivals in the country, has stepped up security in the coastal belt and hotels.

Organisers of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), being held here and participated by a large number of foreign delegates, have also been alerted by the police.

"I have asked the police to assess the situation. Goa has been put on high alert," Chief Secretary J P Singh told PTI on Thursday morning.

Since some foreigners are among those killed in the attacks, Goa Police are keeping extra vigil on beaches like Baga and Calangute, which are frequented by overseas tourists.

The instructions were issued on Wednesday night itself to ensure that there is alert on the beach belt and also in the prominent hotels, Superintendent of Police (Special Branch) Atmaram Deshpande said.

According to the Goa tourism department, around 20,000 foreigners are currently holidaying in the state.

The state attracts around 3 lakh foreign tourists annually, nearly 50 per cent from Britain.

Police have sought assistance from Indian Coast Guard to patrol the 105-km-long coastline passing through the state.

Security blanket has been thrown around the IFFI venues, Deshpande said. The 10-day festival entered its fifth day today.

The government had deployed two companies of paramilitary forces to guard the IFFI venues besides pressing in service the state police force.