Friday, July 03, 2009

Intelligence input indicates terror threat to west coast: PC

PTI Wednesday, July 1, 2009 11:29 IST Email

Hyderabad/Chennai: Launching the NSG hubs, home minister P Chidambaram today said intelligence agencies have indicated a terror threat to the country's west coast but it did not mean that there will be an imminent attack.

"There is an intelligence input (and) as is the practice established recently, we share all inputs immediately with the state governments concerned.

There is an input that there could be a threat to the west coast. We have, therefore, shared it with (the governments of) Gujarat, Goa and Maharashtra. But that does not mean that there is an imminent attack," he said inaugurating a regional hub of NSG in Hyderabad.

Earlier, opening a regional hub of NSG in Chennai, the home minister said special forces of the army will be used to set up anti-terror hubs in Bangalore and Jodhpur.

He said setting up of NSG units did not mean there was an increase in terror threat to the country.

"We are also using special forces of the army. Bangalore hub is by the special forces of the army. I am trying to set up a special force of the army in Jodhpur and one in Guwahati using the border security force", he said.

"Establishing NSG hubs will increase its flexibility and reach and it does not mean that terrorist threat has gone up in the country", he told reporters.

Referring to the November Mumbai terror attacks during which it took more than 12 hours for NSG to arrive from Gurgaon, Chidamabarm said NSG hubs would decrease the response time and would enable it to reach any part of the country quickly in case of any terror threat.

Chennai NSG hub is the second to be inaugurated after the one in Mumbai yesterday, six months after the terror strike in the country's commercial capital.

The home minister also said another regional centre of the National Security Guard would be opened at Ibrahimpatnam near Hyderabad over the next few years.

He said the proposed regional centre would be a replica of the one at Manesar in Haryana and would serve as a major training centre for police forces in south India.

While the regional hub of NSG has been opened with 241 commandos, the regional centre would have 5,150 members of the elite force, the home minister said.

He said NSG was not meant for seek and destroy operations and was intended for specialist commando operations.

To a question, the minister said no city in the country was a hub for terror. "You can't brand any city as a terror hub," he said.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy said special forces would be deployed for providing security on Tirumala Hills, visited by lakhs of devotees every year.

NSG director general NPS Aulakh, Hyderabad hub head Lt Col Sandeep Sen, State home minister P Sabita Reddy and other top officials were also present on the occasion.

Chidambaram handed over a scroll to Lt Col Sen marking the inauguration of the NSG Hyderabad hub.

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