Kandla: A high alert has been sounded in Gujarat state and authorities directed to maintain tight security, including on ships berthed at Kandla port, in the wake of intelligence inputs warning of Pakistani commandos trained in underwater attacks having entered the Gulf of Kutch area through the Harami Nala Creek Area according to Port Trust authorities.
The ‘very high’ level alert said: “It is therefore directed to take utmost measures of security and prevent any untoward situation in Gujarat state, all ships at DPT (Deendayal Port Trust) to take utmost security measures and maintain anti-terror watch, and be alert.”
Signed by the Signal Superintendent of Deendayal Port Trust, formerly known as Kandla Port Trust, in Kutch, the message also directed all shipping authorities to inform their vessels berthed at Kandla and those expected to enter the port to remain alert and ‘maintain terror watch’ and report any suspicious activity to the nearest coast guard station, marine police station and the port control.
It directed the Kandla Port Steamship Agents Association (KPSAA) to forward the message to all, including trade associations with liquid storage facilities, the Customs House Agents Association, the stevedors, barge operators and others.
The message also asked the Netherlands-based Van Oord, which has a contract to maintain Kandla port, to alert all dredgers and support craft in the channel and ‘maintain sharp watch and report any suspicious activity’ to the port control.
The alert comes in the wake of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir after New Delhi abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, which Islamabad has termed an act of ‘annexation’. India has upped its security in the wake of warmongering statements being made by Pakistani leaders over Kashmir.
Meanwhile, business houses operating in Gujarat are also on alert after the intel input.
It should also be mentioned here that the Central Government has rushed four National Security Guard (NSG) teams to Gujarat. One has been earmarked to guard the Somnath Temple which was supposed to host the Maha Shivratri festival Monday. Now due to the intel report the programme which is attended by millions has been cancelled.