Kolkata port on high alert after threat of terror attack

Intelligence reports said terrorists may follow method used in 26/11

Kolkata port on high alert after threat of terror attack

Just days after the central agencies unearthed a massive terror network active in West Bengal, Kolkata’s port at Kidderpore and adjoining areas were put on high alert following information that the state could be under attack from sea.

The Kolkata Police and the Indian Coast Guard were intimated about the threat, as security was beefed up across the city on Tuesday.

“We’ve received inputs from central agencies that there could be a terror attack on Kolkata, particularly on the port area,” a senior police official said. “We’ve heightened security along the dock and the waterfront, besides putting the whole city under a security blanket,” he added.

Quoting the agencies’ input, state home department officials said that terrorists could carry out an attack on the city from the sea.

“The threat is mostly on the port area where they could use small boats to carry out the attack like in Mumbai (26/11 attacks),” said an official. “The communiqué points out that the attack could be carried out with the help of the Pakistan navy. The belief is that ISI agents active in the area might have conducted reconnaissance.”

Following the threat alert received by the home department on Monday, the Kolkata Port Trust intensified vigil and patrolling with the help of Coast Guard, the city police and the Central Industrial Security Force, sources said.

“Immediately after the alert, port authorities held an emergency security review meeting. They also informed the Coast Guard and CISF so that vigil and patrolling can be intensified both from sea and on land,” a senior port official said.

The city and the West Bengal Police have been asked to step up security outside the ports at Kolkata and Haldia, under the Kolkata Port Trust.

Following the alert, an Indian Navy exhibition from November 4 to 7 was cancelled, a defence spokesperson told reporters.

The Navy was to showcase two of its latest acquisitions, the off-shore patrol vessel INS Sumitra commissioned earlier this year, and the missile corvette INS Khukri.

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