Major security operation in Maharashtra, Gujarat following terror warning

April 24th, 2009 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, April 24 (IANS) Following intelligence reports about the possibility of terrorists sneaking into India through the sea route, security forces have completed a major three-day long operation code-named “Raah Bandh”, according to an official statement Friday.
‘Raah Banch’ was launched along Maharashtra and Goa and coincided with the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections. For the first time ever, a major operation was launched in the two states involving the navy, the coast guard, customs and police.

A huge number of resources - including boats, ships, helicopters, and surveillance aircraft - were pressed into the operation to prevent any influx from across the border.

“All possible landing points, beaches and sea routes were manned during the deployment,” said the statement.

Terrorists from Pakistan had used the sea routes to sneak into the country to carry out the Nov 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

During the exercise, which ended Thursday, more than 80 units of the various agencies provided three-tiered security patrols to cordon off the 1,600 km of the coastline in Gujarat and 730 km in Maharashtra. They were joined by 46 boats of the Maharashtra police and 8 boats of the customs department.

While the Coast Guard ships patrolled the territorial waters, the naval ships patrolled the seas beyond 12 nautical miles, with aerial surveillance provided by the navy and coast guard aircraft.

During the operation, these agencies checked around 300 boats and other coastal ships, ensuring sanitisation of the Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts and pre-empting any untoward incidents, the statement added.

In order to ensure smooth co-ordination of these efforts, all the agencies concerned set up special control rooms. The first-time coordinated operation involving many services had encouraging results, the statement said.

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