India-Pakistan Tension: Security beefed up in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Following escalation of tension between India and Pakistan, high alert has been sounded in Odisha with security being tightened at strategic installations and locations including airports and sea ports in the State. This was decided today at a high-level meeting held at the Secretariat which was attended by senior officials of several central agencies including Indian Navy, Coast Guard, paramilitary forces-CRPF, BSF, CISF and officials of Odisha Police.

Odisha Chief Secretary AP Padhi informed that in the wake of Pulwama attack and the recent turnout of events, the Ministry of Home Affairs had earlier issued an advisory.

“It has been decided to strengthen security at several vital installations in Odisha and adequate focus is laid on security along the vast coast line,” said Padhi after the review meeting.

Police DG RP Sharma today issued directives to all Superintendents of Police to remain alert to the situation. Special advisory has been issued to strengthen security measures in and around several strategic and key installations in different parts of Odisha.

“We had an important meeting and it has been decided to strengthen security at our vital installations with adequate focus on coordination with central agencies, state and defence forces. We also discussed about composite security response and timely sharing of intelligence,” said Sharma.

Frisking and patrolling by security personnel have started in the two ports. The authorities are extra vigilant keeping in mind that Pakistan-based terrorists had entered Mumbai via sea route in 2008 and unleashed terror in the city.

“We are keeping a constant vigil on the crew members of ships docking at the port here. The crew members who want to go outside the port area are being thoroughly checked,” said immigration officer at Paradip port, Manas Ranjan Das.

With at least four new ships arriving at Paradip Port every day, the authorities are maintaining a close surveillance, he said.

The Indian Coast Guard has also intensified patrolling in the coast as well as in the deep sea since Tuesday as there is a possibility of entry of terrorists through sea route, a senior official said.

Odisha has a 480-km-long sea coast looked after by the Coast Guard based in Paradip.

“The state government has cancelled leave of all the personnel working in different Marine Police Stations along the Odisha coast,” the official said.

Security has been tightened in the port and emphasis is being given on access control, Kolkata Port Trust Chairman, Vinit Kumar said.

(With PTI inputs)