High alert sounded as intel says Pakistan commandos trained in underwater combats enter Kutch
(Photo by Tauseef MUSTAFA / AFP)

Bhuj: Security has been beefed up at Kandla and Mundra ports and other key installations in Gujarat's Kutch district following intelligence inputs of a possible infiltration by terrorists through the sea route, police said on Thursday.

The move comes days after the Indian Navy also warned of a possible terror attack from the sea side. The Mundra port, run by the Adani group, is one of the largest in the country and last year topped the rankings by volumes, while the state-run Kandla port is a large bulk handling facility. Both the ports are located in the Gulf of Kutch in the Arabian Sea, in close vicinity of Pakistan.

The same region also supports many critical installations, including the world's largest oil refinery at Jamnagar run by Reliance Industries and also a similar facility operated by Russian giant Rosneft at Vadinar. "We receive inputs about possible terrorist infiltrations from time to time and we have enhanced the security at all vital installations in Kutch district, including the Kandla port," Inspector General of Police (border range) D B Vaghela said.

"In fact, security was stepped up even before August 15 (Independence Day). There is no specific input that terrorists have entered Gujarat, but a general input that they can enter using the sea route," he said. The Mundra port in Kutch district is also among the prominent installations security has been heightened, another police official said. Following intelligence inputs and instructions from the Gujarat Director General of Police, security has been enhanced at all vital installations in Kutch, Anjar's Deputy Superintendent of Police Dhananjay Vaghela told reporters.

"We have received inputs that terrorists can enter through the sea route," he said, adding that the police and other security agencies have increased patrolling and the marine police force has also been pressed into service. The Navy last week said it was on high alert and prepared to defeat and deter any sea-borne threat with full force.

Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff Murlidhar Pawar had said coastal security measures were stepped up and forces were keeping a tight vigil to thwart any misadventure by anyone. This preventive measure comes amidst the ongoing tensions with Pakistan following the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir by the central government.

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