India equipped to deal with all terror threats during CWG (Lead)

August 5th, 2010 - 4:32 pm ICT by IANS  

By George Joseph
New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) Indian security agencies will be equipped to face chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) terrorist threats during the October Commonwealth Games, an official said Wednesday.

“We will be prepared for new CBRN assault methods,” a senior home ministry official said, adding that the security agencies and Delhi Police were gearing up but not just to tackle the usual forms of terror attacks.

“The CBRN teams and new technological devices are needed in the backdrop of the changing face and style of operations of the terrorists,” the official pointed out.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran reinforced this.

“We are making all preparations for a safe and secure Commonwealth Games. We are not waiting for any threat to emerge. We will try to address all threat perceptions without creating panic among the public and tension among the participants and the officials,” Ramachandran told IANS in an interview.

He said there was “good coordination between our agencies and those of the participating countries. The liaison group of security agencies has been addressing the concerns of the foreign countries and explaining the security preparations to them.

“On the face of it, Delhi Police will handle the security operations,” another official said. “But it will be a massive joint effort with the deployment of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and other paramilitary forces and many undercover operatives.”

The Intelligence Bureau, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the National Security Guard (NSG) and other agencies have been working on the CWG threat perceptions, the home ministry official added.

NSG commandoes will be stationed in the city to move swiftly to any stadia or any place where a threat is perceived.

Though the armed forces will not be publicly involved in the security arrangements for the Games, some units of the army and the air force have been trained to handle any eventuality during the Games, informed sources said.

Intelligence agencies have also been working on the possibility of attacks from Kashmiri groups like the Hizbul Mujahidden, the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Taliaban from Pakistan or Afghanistan and even Al Qaeda.

Militant outfits of various other ideological hues are also on the police radar.

Security agencies are keeping an eye on the movements of Westerners in New Delhi and other cities, the official said.

“This is needed after the disclosures of David Coleman Headley (the Pakistani American who had scouted for the LeT before the 26/11 Mumbai attack),” the official explained, speaking on the condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

“These strict measures are necessary to ensure the smooth conduct of the Commowealth Games. We will try to minimise public inconvenience without compromising on security,” Minister Ramachandran said.

(George Joseph can be contacted at george.j@ians.in)

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