For the first time, various central and state agencies joined hands to patrol the porous maritime western borders of the country in an operation codenamed ‘Raah Bandh’.
Based on several intelligence inputs regarding likelihood of terrorists coming through the sea during the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls, the operation was launched along the coasts of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Ten terrorists had come by sea and carried out an attack on Mumbai on November 26. Nine were gunned down while the 10th, Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab who was captured alive, is facing trial in a city court.
“All possible landing points, beaches and sea routes were manned during the deployment along the 1,600 km of Gujarat coast and 720 km of Maharashtra coast,” said navy spokesperson Captain M. Nambiar.
The operation provided a three-tier security patrol with Coast Guard ships patrolling the territorial waters and navy ships guarding the high seas beyond 12 nautical miles.
Patrolling at areas close to the coast was coordinated at the district level by the respective superintendents of police, said Nambiar.
Both the navy and coast guard also undertook extensive aerial surveillance over the coastal waters of the two states and beyond.
About 300 boats and other coastal vessels were checked during the operation, which concluded on Thursday.
The state police operated 46 boats, most of them hired, and the customs operated eight boats, said Nambiar. More than 80 units of the Coast Guard, navy, police and customs were pressed into action for cordoning the coastline.