Red alert at Bengal ports with eye on ships from Pakistan

  • Subhendu Maiti and Soumen Dutta, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Nov 05, 2014 23:56 IST

Ships from Pakistan, especially those carrying cargo and fishing boats are under the radar of security agencies, as central agencies rang alarm bells recently of a possible terror threat.

The threat of Pakistan sponsored terrorists taking help of its navy entering the port in normal shipping vessels has forced authorities to issue a red alert and beef up Kolkata as well as Haldia ports.

Kolkata Port Trust (KPT) authorities are mulling to seek Union shipping ministry’s special approval to allow vessels from Pakistan to enter both ports.

KPT chairman RPS Kahlon held an emergency meeting with CISF commandant PK Bharti, deputy commissioner of police (port) Imran Wahab, Captain AK Bagchi, director of the port trust’s marine department and its security adviser on Wednesday.

Sources stated that Kolkata port might be the target of terrorists from Pakistan posing as fishermen or sailors of cargo ships.

“Being river ports Kolkata and Docks are always vulnerable to terrorist attacks because of because of huge coastline. The CISF has been asked to tighten security in some vulnerable points in the port area,” a senior official in the security wing of the KPT said.

Meanwhile, Kolkata police’s special branch was asked to increase the vigil in the police stations in Port areas. The Indian Navy on Tuesday has recalled the two warships, INS Khukri and INS Sumitra, which supposed to be open for public for exhibition.

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