KOCHI: A heavy security blanket will be thrown across the district in the lead-up to the Thrissur Pooram next week, with the state police devising a safety net on a scale not seen before for the cultural extravaganza. The pooram to be held on May 13 will witness a sea of humanity descending on the Thekkinkadu maidan, the main venue. The police have decided to go in for the massive security measures considering the growing threat of Islamic State (IS) in Kerala and the serial suicide blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter day which killed over 250 people.
Thrissur range Inspector General Balram Kumar Upadhyay said the police will be devising tight security arrangements in the wake of terrorist attack alert. “The entire city and the district in large will be under thorough surveillance of the police from the coming days. Heavy police force will be deployed for combing and shadow surveillance,” he said.
The national agencies, mainly National Investigation Agency (NIA), have already issued an alert on possible attack by IS and its frontal organisations, considering the open call made by IS operative Abdul Rasheed Abdullah, who left for Syria from Kasargod in 2016, in a voice message to IS sympathisers in 2017 about the need to carry out terrorist attack on Thrissur Pooram where Hindus converge in large number.
The arrest of IS operative Riyas Aboobacker on charges of plotting su police on an alert mode as Pooram is highly vulnerable and a soft target considering large crowd and use of explosives for fire display. Riyas reportedly revealed he was readying for a suicide attack in Kerala but postponed it because he could not get explosives.