Collaborate with us, Maharashtra urges US homeland security secretary (With image)

May 24th, 2011 - 8:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, May 24 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Tuesday stressed the need for co-operation with the US Department of Homeland Security, including sharing intelligence and technological know-how, for enhancing the state’s security.

Considering the threats from terrorist groups and the changed international scenario, Chavan stressed the need for support from the Department to strengthen security in the state.

Chavan was speaking at a meeting with the visiting US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and a high-level delegation at Sahyadri State Guest House here this afternoon.

The chief minister took the opportunity to enlighten Napolitano on the various measures taken by the state government on security aspects after the Nov 26-29, 2008 Mumbai terror attack that claimed 166 lives.

He informed her that the state government had set up an elite Force One on the lines of the National Security Guard (NSG) and provided it with sophisticated weapons, wireless sets and fast vehicles.

Chavan said that several measures had been implemented to strengthen the state’s 720 km long coastline with the co-ordinated efforts of the police and customs departments.

Patrolling of the coastal areas and the coastline is carried out with 28 high-speed armoured boats provided by the central government which have GPS and powerful searchlights useful for nocturnal patrols.

“Besides, the state government has requisitioned an additional 29 high-speed patrol boats of which five have already been received and deployed for operations,” Chavan said.

The visiting delegation expressed their appreciation for the efforts made by the government to enhance the security of life and property in the state and an important city like Mumbai.

Earlier, Napolitano paid floral tributes at the Police Memorial in south Mumbai to the victims and martyrs of the 26/11 terror attack.

After laying a wreath at the memorial, Napolitano observed a brief silence.

The Police Memorial was constructed in memory of the 16 brave policemen who lost their lives while fighting terrorists during the three-day attack and managed to catch Ajmal Amir Kasab, who has been sentenced to death by the Bombay High Court.

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