Mumbai and Odisha sounded high alert on Thursday after the Intelligence Bureau warned Pakistan-sponsored terrorist outfits were readying to strike targets across four states before January 28, coinciding with US President Barack Obama’s Republic Day visit.
The intelligence alert said militants from groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen were spread across Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha.
The alert mentions Mumbai’s famous Siddhivinayak Temple and says an attack is possible any Tuesday. Over 60,000 people visit the premises on the auspicious day.
The input said the Mumbai strike will be carried out by five 25-year-old terrorists. “We have deployed enough personnel at all vital places,”?said Mumbai police spokesperson Dhananjay Kulkarni.
The United States and India have made unprecedented security arrangements to avoid any terror incident during Obama’s three-day visit, with the Capital witnessing a lockdown of sorts and border forces on high alert.
Odisha has also beefed up security arrangements across its 30 districts. All 18 marine police stations manning coastal security have been put on high alert, director general of police Sanjiv Marik said.
“We have asked forces to keep an eye on crowded places,” said Lalit Das, special secretary in the home department.
Officials in UP said they were unaware of the IB warning but Agra and adjoining districts were already on high alert ahead of Barack and Michelle Obama’s January 27 visit. Two senior officers were camping in the city with US and Indian agencies jointly monitoring security drills.
Rajasthan director general of police Omendra Bhardwaj also said he didn’t know about the IB input, adding that police were already on alert.