ubaneswar/Cuttack/Koraput: Odisha Police have raised their defences following the Centre’s warning about possible terror strikes in the state during the Republic Day celebrations.
Though the state government sounded a state-wide high alert in view of the input by the ministry of home affairs, the commissionerate of police in Bhubaneswar and SPs in Puri and Balasore districts have specifically been asked to be extra vigilant.
“Security has been tightened in and around the missile test range at Chandipur and Jagannath Temple in Puri. We are alert to thwart any untoward incident,” DGP K B Singh told mediapersons after reviewing the security arrangements in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.
Outgoing commissioner of police R P Sharma said a four-tier security system would be put in place during the parade at Lower PMG here. Police have geared up after the recent arrest of suspected al-Qaida operative Abdul Rehman from Cuttack. Security has also been stepped up in Cuttack where Rehman lived.
Official sources said the MHA sounded the alert after the Goa police recently received a letter that threatened harm to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. Besides, the National Investigating Agency (NIA) rounded up nearly 14 suspected terrorists from across the country on charges of planning to trigger attacks on Republic Day.
The state home department said besides police in 30 districts, the 18 marine police stations in the state have also been asked to remain alert. Security forces have been asked to keep an eye on crowded public places and meeting venues, which are vulnerable to terrorist attacks. A strict watch is being kept on marine routes, said an officer of home department.
A thick security cover has also been planned for smooth conduct of the Republic Day celebrations in Maoist-affected districts. Police are on their toes as the Maoists murdered three persons on charges of being police informers in Koraput recently. The Maoists also triggered a landmine blast and killed two BSF jawans a few days ago in Koraput.
“At present, the situation is under control. But, anti-nationalist forces may try to disrupt the Republic Day celebration. We have beefed up our anti-Naxalite operations,” said SP (Koraput) Charan Singh Meena.
While vehicles entering the district are being frisked, additional forces have been deployed in border areas sharing their boundary with Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The Malkangiri administration has already sounded an alert after the Maoists vowed to observe Republic Day as Black Day in the district. Every year, the Maoists urge the people to observe January 26 as Black Day.
“In addition to the routine anti-Maoist exercises, we have taken a few extra precautionary measures to prevent any untoward incident,” said SP (Malkangiri) Mitrabhanu Mohapatra.