Poll stars on terror radar worry Govt

Even as India continues to press Pakistan to act against those behind Mumbai terror attacks, intelligence agencies have warned of a 'heightened' threat from across the border to some political leaders during the Lok Sabha elections.

india Updated: Mar 19, 2009 09:05 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times

With elections just weeks away, intelligence circles have picked up intercepts that India’s political heavyweights are at a severe risk from terrorist groups.

Pakistan has done little to dismantle terror groups even after 26/11 and Delhi isn’t sure who is in control of the situation in Islamabad.

“There is an increased threat from Pakistan-based terror groups in the run-up to and during the elections,” said a senior government official.

Among the stars of the Indian political galaxy at risk are said to be Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, party general secretary Rahul Gandhi, BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Narendra Modi, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, and AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa.

Home minister P. Chidambaram said politicians should to be cautious. “Prudence requires we should be on high alert,” he said in Jammu. On Wednesday, the ministry sensitised police chiefs about the increased cross-border “chatter” between terrorists about creating disturbance during the polls.

It wants steps like securing neighbouring high-rise buildings and total sanitisation of the venue to be taken at all rallies addressed by top leaders.

First Published: Mar 18, 2009 20:23 IST