Sunday, August 12, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

PM, Advani face Pak ultra threat
High security for I-Day function
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, August 11
The Delhi police today said that Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Home Minister L. K. Advani and other ministers faced a direct threat from Pakistan-sponsored terrorist groups. It said the groups had assigned the task to the fidayeen.

Intelligence reports indicate renewed directions to Pakistan-based terrorist groups to indulge in acts of violence on Independence Day throughout the country, particularly in Delhi.

Addressing mediapersons, Special Commissioner of Police (Security and Operations), Mr R.S. Gupta, said “open and bold threats” against Prime Minister and his senior Cabinet colleagues had been extended by these militant groups through in Pakistan vernacular papers.

Mr Gupta said recently arrested Hizbul Mujahideen activists revealed that they had planned to launch fidayeen attacks (suicide attacks) in the Capital. They also revealed that militant organisations had also sent women fidayeen to Delhi to indulge in acts of violence.

Terrorist outfits like the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Al-Badar, Hizb-ul-Jehad-e-Islami and groups of Muslim fundamentalists owing allegiance to Osama bin-Laden have been coordinating with one another to achieve their targets.

Meanwhile, with only four days for the Independence Day celebrations, the Delhi police increased vigilance at strategic buildings like Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament House, South Block, North Block, buildings housing offices of union ministries, All India Radio and Doordarshan.

They will be held under “a high threat security scenario”. The celebrations include unfurling of the National Flag by the Prime Minister from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort and At Home by the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The security arrangement for the Independence Day celebrations evolves close coordination with various civil and paramilitary contributing agencies. Contingency schemes have been made for tackling any emergency .

The intensity of the security drill is evident at Parliament House where security personnel even searched vehicles of MPs. Generally, a vehicle carrying Parliament sticker is not searched and is allowed free movement inside the premises.

Among the buildings where special security arrangement has been made are Shastri Bhavan, Sena Bhavan, Udyog Bhavan, Rail Bhavan, Krishi Bhavan, Nirman Bhavan, Nirvachan Sadan, Vigyan Bhavan, Privahan Bhavan, Yojana Bhavan and Reserve Bank of India. Vehicles entering these buildings are being frisked by the security guards.

Searches in sensitive areas have been increased and surveillance is being maintained at the borders of the Capital to check the movement of unwanted elements. Vehicles entering Delhi are also being searched.

The security in and around Prime Minister’s house at 7 Race Course Road has been increased.

As part of the security drill, explosive detection devices, sniffer dog squads, bomb disposal squads, riot control vehicles and fire tenders are stationed at these buildings to help the security staff.

Besides, the police has stepped up patrolling near important buildings in other parts of the Capital, including those located inside the CGO and SCOPE complexes where the headquarters of para-military forces and Central Bureau of Investigation are located.

A massive combing operation has been launched in areas which could be used as hideouts by terrorists and a verification drive for new tenants is also being carried out. Red Fort has been closed for a few days for tourists.

Guest houses and restaurants in the walled city and sensitive areas of the Capital like the walled city, trans-Yamuna and some localities in South Delhi are being searched. Guest houses and restaurants in these areas are used as hideouts by militants.

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