THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Normally, a terror alert would be followed by the deployment of more policemen, intensified inspections and widespread monitoring for any suspicious activity to avoid any untoward incident.
Not in Kerala, though. Though the Army has sounded an alert about the possibility of a terror attack in a South Indian state, cops in Kerala – which is set to celebrate Onam with fervour – are playing it cool, focusing more on “not creating panic among or causing inconvenience to people”, and putting in place ‘invisible’ measures such as deploying more cops in plainclothes and increasing CCTV surveillance.
“Among the things we will ensure while deploying the police force are that people who are in the festival mood do not face any inconvenience or have reason to panic,” said state police chief Loknath Behera.
“Invisible security will be enhanced. We will have more men in mufti. Methods like camera surveillance and varying analysis modes will also be adopted,” Behera said.
The Army on Monday had sounded a terror alert in South India saying that abandoned boats were recovered from Sir Creek in Gujarat.Close on the heels of this, Behera had shot off directives to the district chiefs asking them to maintain caution at airports, bus stands and similar public places. They were also told to secure places where Onam programmes are being conducted.
Behera told Express an alert was issued in the state considering recent incidents such as the Sri Lankan bombings. Following the blasts in Sri Lanka, agencies nabbed several youngsters from Tamil Nadu and a person from Kerala on the suspicion of having links with Islamic State. Earlier, there were reports Kochi could be one of the possible targets of the terrorists. However, Behera said the entire state will be monitored thoroughly as there are no specific details regarding possible soft spots.
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In case of any suspicious activity, people can inform the police chief’s control room at 0471-2722500 or call 112.