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No intelligence input on Headley's stay in Goa: police

india Updated: Dec 08, 2009 23:04 IST

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The Goa Police on Tuesday denied receiving any inputs from central intelligence agencies about the presence of terror suspect David Coleman Headley in Goa earlier this year.

"The Goa police is not in receipt of any such information about Headley being in Goa," Superintendent of Police Atmaram Deshpande said at a press conference.

Asked if the police were ruling out the possibility of Headley staying in Goa, Deshpande said: "I am not ruling it out. All I am saying is that we have not received any report from agencies on this matter".

Media reports on Tuesday, quoting union home ministry sources, had said that suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Headley, who is in US custody on charges of terror, had surveyed Arambol and Anjuna beaches in north Goa for a week early this year.

Incidentally, both Anjuna and Arambol beaches are immensely popular with Israeli tourists.

In fact, Anjuna also has a Chabad House, a Jewish prayer home, which is frequented by Israelis during the tourist season. Israeli tourists, who form a sizeable portion of the 4.5 lakh odd foreign tourists in Goa, visit the state in the months of October to February.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has charge-sheeted Headley for conducting "extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years" preceding the 26/11 terrorist attack on the financial capital that killed 166 people, including six Americans.

Mumbai's Chabad House, the city's headquarters of the ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jews, had also come under attack on 26/11 last year. Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, his pregnant wife Rivka and four others were killed as the terrorists stormed in and held them hostage for hours on end.

Meanwhile, the Goa police late Tuesday hosted a multi-agency meeting to take stock of the security scenario in the state, ahead of the peak tourist season stretching over from last week of December to the first week of January, a period which has seen the state receive several terror threats over the last few years.

The multi-agency meeting was attended by representatives from the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Indian Army, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and representatives from various intelligence agencies.

The meeting reviewed the security scenario in Goa, especially the marine preparedness of the security forces to ward of any sea-borne terror threats, informed sources said.