The Rajasthan Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) has sounded an alert across the state over a possible infiltration attempt by 15 Pakistan-based terrorists trained in making suicide jackets and improvised explosive devices mounted on vehicles.
The alert – issued on Thursday – came two months after Mumbai blast mastermind Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was spotted in Pakistani villages, barely 15 km from the international border.
The ATS alert, however, did not mention Saeed. Four districts of Rajasthan – Jaisalmer, Barmer, Bikaner and Sri Ganganagar -- share a 1,070-km-long border with Pakistan. Additional director general of police (ATS) Alok Tripathi confirmed the alert and said it was based on “inputs from central agencies”.
“We passed on the information to all district police chiefs and the railway police,” Tripathi said but added that the area of the possible infiltration is “still not clear”.
The ATS alert mentioned that the terrorists are experts in making “suicide jackets and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED).
The ATS also said that this group may execute terror attacks at various locations across the country. The alert comes in the midst of a festive season with heavy rush of people expected in temples for Ganesh Chaturthi and Ramdev fair in Jaislamer district.
Barmer superintendent of police Hemant Sharma confirmed receiving the alert from ATS and said security has been beefed up across the district.
Sources in the Border Security Force (BSF) said the force was alerted immediately after Hafiz Saeed’s movement was noticed in Islamkot and Mithi areas opposite Tanot and Kishangarh of Jaisalmer district on June 27 and 28.
“The international border is fenced and we remain vigilant round-the-clock to avert any infiltration bid” said Ravi Gandhi, DIG and spokesperson of BSF, Rajasthan frontier.
The most devastating terrorist attack in Rajasthan was in May, 2008 when militants triggered a series of explosions in Jaipur leaving over 60 dead and nearly 200 injured. The blasts were linked to a Bangladesh-based fundamentalist group. Earlier, in September 2006, BSF personnel had shot dead three Pak-based terrorists tried to breach the fence at Anoopgarh in Sri Ganganagar district. Security agency later found explosives and weapons on them.