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2 armed men 'seen' near Kakrapar atomic centre

The Central Industrial Security Force that guards the facility and the local police have begun combing operations.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2006 23:14 IST

Two armed men were spotted in the vicinity of the Kakrapar nuclear power station complex near Surat on Tuesday, triggering a massive search of the area by security forces.

Villagers living near the station reported to authorities they had seen the two men in the area, following which local police and CISF troops guarding the atomic facility launched a search.

"No specific information about terrorists getting inside the complex has come to us," Gujarat's Home Minister Amit Shah said in Ahmedabad. The security forces were conducting a search of the station, which has two 220 MW nuclear power plants, he said.

Security at nuclear facilities across the country was recently stepped up following reports that terrorists could target them. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Chairman SK Jain, who is in Delhi, said the villagers had reported that two armed men were seen entering the Kakrapar station.

Commandos took up positions inside the control room for the reactors while CISF troops combed the 1.6-km "exclusive zone" between the Kakrapar station's outer fence and an inner barrier around the nuclear plants, Jain said. The plants were functioning normally, he said.

"If at all they have entered the plant, they cannot do anything. The plants can withstand any conventional attack," Jain asserted.

"There is no cause for worry. I can assure you nothing can go wrong. We are confident about the (security measures) in the area. There is no possibility of anyone breaking the barrier of the main plant," he said.

Protection systems were also in place to shut down the reactors in case of any eventuality, he said. The security at the Kakrapar station includes dog squads, commandos and hi-tech gadgets to prevent intrusions, officials said.

Gujarat's police chief PC Pandey said,"Nobody has entered the plant. It looks like a false alarm."

Combing by the security forces was on and it could be said with certainty that there was no intrusion only after the operation was over, he said.

First Published: Aug 22, 2006 16:56 IST