Syrian national under Goa Police lens over ‘IS’ threat letter

  • PTI, Panaji
  • Updated: Jan 26, 2016 22:22 IST

Three foreign nationals including a Syrian, have been detained in connection with a letter threatening to harm Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as security was stepped up at vital establishments and crowded places in Goa.

A Syrian national, whose identity was not disclosed, was detained on Monday night and he is being questioned, inspector general of police Sunil Garg told reporters on Tuesday when asked about progress in the threat letter case.

The letter, received at the state secretariat on January 13, had “ISIS” (another acronym for the terror group) written on it and threatened to harm Modi and also defence minister Manohar Parrikar.

Sympathisers of the terror outfit are suspected to be involved in radicalising youth in India.

“His (Syrian national) visa has expired and he has been overstaying,” Garg added. Two more foreigners - from Yemen and Nigeria - were taken into custody from a casino and are being interrogated separately, said another police official, adding they were staying in the state after expiry of their visas.

Meanwhile, vigil at key establishments and crowded places has been stepped up in Goa, which saw additional rush of domestic tourists over the weekend due to Republic Day holiday.

“The government is concerned about security of citizens and is taking all measures required,” chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar told reporters on the margins of an event here. “superintendents of police of both districts (South and North Goa) have reviewed security around vital establishments under their jurisdiction. Gun-wielding policemen have been posted at at these places,” another officer said.

Police have increased surveillance at the beaches, churches, temples and other popular tourist spots, he said.

Superintendent of police (special branch) Bosco George said security of VIPs has also been revamped.

“We requested Parrikar to accept ‘Z’ plus security cover while in Goa and he has agreed. Parrikar was moving around without ‘Z’ plus security cover in Goa (his home state) during his visits,” George said. Police have also intensified ‘night patrolling, he said.

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