J&K terror groups using Dawood to smuggle arms
This has forced Govt to put in place a foolproof surveillance system along the West Coast, reports Rajnish Sharma.india Updated: Apr 19, 2006 04:36 IST
Feeling the heat along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border in Jammu and Kashmir, the ISI and Pakistan-based terrorist groups are now using underworld don Dawood Ibrahim to smuggle arms and ammunition through the sea route along the West Coast. This was the same region where the D-company had landed the consignment of explosives used for the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts.
In the wake of the three-layered security along the border and parts of LoC in J&K there has been a considerable drop in infiltration and smuggling of arms and ammunition. The devastating earthquake that demolished the terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) in October last year was another blow to terrorist activities in the Valley.
Home Ministry sources said though terrorists were using the Bangladesh route to smuggle in arms, it was proving inadequate. Thus, the ISI and terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and Jaish-e-Mohammed roped in the D-company to send arms through the sea route.
The new modus operandi has forced the ministries of Home and Defence to put in place a foolproof surveillance system on the sea along the West Coast, particularly in Maharashtra and Gujarat. “We will replicate the J&K patrolling system and have a three-layered monitoring mechanism on the sea,”' a senior official said. The plan, which was finalised at a meeting a few days ago will cost the government a whopping Rs 342.56 crore.
Earlier, after the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts the government had launched 'Operation Swan' to check smuggling of arms and explosives along the West Coast. But this, sources said, was proving inadequate forcing the government to revamp the entire scheme with additional safeguards. Sources said the three worst-affected areas suspected to be used for arms smuggling — Dhanu and Murud Janjira in Maharashtra and Veraval in Gujarat — will have the Coast Guard headquarters.
The patrolling along these areas will be done in three cordons. The outer and inter-mediate layers will be covered by the Navy and the Coast Guard. The sea's inner layer close to the coast will be patrolled jointly by the Navy, state police and Customs. Special high-speed boats and other equipment will be bought for this purpose. This scheme will be in addition to the coastal security plan approved by the MHA a few months ago that will guard the entire Indian coastline of 7516.6 km spanning 13 states and Union Territories.