BENGALURU: State police and central agencies personnel stationed in Karnataka have been put on high alert following inputs from central intelligence agencies about a possible terror attack. Specifically, the state capital Bengaluru and coastal regions of Karnataka have been out on a high alert on Friday. In Mangaluru, police have picked up four people for questioning after the alert was issued. Police, however, refused to divulge details of the persons.
INS Kadamba Naval Base, Karwar, Indian Coast Guards, Uttara Kannada district police and Coastal Security Police have tightened security in the coastal region, while police commissioner Bhaskar Rao issued orders to his subordinates to beef up security at all vital installations in Bengaluru including iconic installations, Vidhana Soudha, Vikasa Soudha, High Court, railway stations, Bengaluru Metro, BMTC, KSRTC Bus Stations, schools, malls, five-star hotels and locations with high footfalls. Security at the Kempegowda International Airport, railway stations and bus stations has been strengthened till further orders from the Centre, he added.
Sources said that the alert has been issued following various developments including abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir. “The alert has been there since last 2-3 days. Not only Karnataka, but the alert has also been issued to entire south India,” an official of a Central intelligence agency said.
Besides, he has also ordered posting of pickets, ensuring all CCTvs are working in their respective areas, high level of police presence and continuous visibility, verifying antecedents of suspected persons and vehicles and unattended baggage, and suspicious vehicles to be seized. He has also directed private security persons to be sensitised at the police station level.
“All officers should be continuously available on rounds at important places in their areas. Night Round officers should check all the vehicles at borders and detain suspicious vehicles. PG hostels, Service Apartments, Accommodation near religious places should also be checked and there must be Area Domination from Beat Level to Division Level. Checkposts should be set up at important places and three CAR platoons should be provided per division,” the memo stated.
The police, however, are tight-lipped about upgrading security to such an unprecedented level in the city. Sources on condition of anonymity told The New Indian Express that vigilance has been escalated to an all-time high in the recent past. “There can be a reaction to developments in Kashmir anywhere. The police cannot be found wanting. For the first time, sky sentries were deployed at high-rise buildings around the Manekshaw Parade ground, where the Chief Minister Yediyurappa addressed the Independence Day gathering. No one was allowed to take selfies with the VIPs on Independence Day parade as is the practice,” said an officer on condition of anonymity.
In Karwar, a naval officer said high alert has been declared and the Indian Navy has tightened security, and patrolling has been increased. The naval officer, too, refused to comment further on the issue.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Harish Kumar K, has asked the fisheries department to be on high alert and to check each and every boat that comes near fishing ports in the district. During the monsoon, neighbouring district and state’s fishing vessels used to come nearby fishing port due to bad weather in the sea.
According to sources, there are five fishing boats from neighbouring state of Kerala and Goa are anchored off Karwar coast due to bad weather. The local fishermen were alerted and they were asked to inform any suspected man or boat in any port. All ports and naval installations are put under high alert.
Confirming that high alert was sounded across Karnataka, a senior official in the State Intelligence wing said the orders were issued keeping in mind the developments at the national level and security scenario in the state.
(With inputs from Mangaluru and Karwar)