Surat Diamond Association (SDA), the apex body of the diamond industry, on Thursday said there should be a special force for the security of diamond industry in the wake of serial blasts in Mumbai.
Surat is a global hub of the diamond polishing industry, but both domestic and international trade takes place largely from front offices in Opera House area of Mumbai, where one of the blasts took place.
"Through Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), we shall demand that government constitute a special force for the industry, which has been a soft target for terror strikes," SDA President Dinesh Navadia said. "The diamond industry needs security cover on the lines of Central Industrial Security Force," he said.
"The blast at Opera House in Mumbai where diamond units are located in buildings such as Prasad and Panchratna reveals the motive behind strikes. They are aimed to terrorise people and disturb the highest-revenue generating sector for the country," Navadia said.
"Diamond industry was earlier targeted by the terrorists in July 2008 where eight to nine bombs were placed in Varachha and other diamond hubs of Surat. However, due to faulty IEDs they did not go off and the industry was saved," he said.
The diamond industry in Surat on Thursday observed a day-long bandh in support of the Opera house diamond market which remained closed, he said. A lot of SDA members own offices in Prasad and Panchratna buildings at Opera House, from where polished diamonds are supplied to domestic and overseas markets.
Regional head of Gujarat GJEPC, Chandrakant Sanghvi, said "The government should strengthen security outside the diamond markets and industry. It also needs to reconsider the internal security of the establishments."