Taliban trained fidayeen enter metros, PM holds security meet

Taliban trained fidayeen enter metros, PM holds security meet New Delhi: Three metros-- Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi--and Gujarat state were put on high terror alert today following intelligence inputs that Taliban-trained 'suicide' squads have sneaked into these places to attack vital installations.

The seriousness of the situation could be gauged from the fact that PM Manmohan Singh called a security meet in view of the situation. Home Minister P Chidambaram, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister AK Antony and the chiefs of Intelligence Bureau and RAW were present at the meeting.

Bhaba Atomic Research Centre(BARC) and Bombay Stock Exchange, both in Mumbai as well as US Consulate in Kolkata are high on the radar of the 'fidayeens' (suicide squads), a top Union Home Ministry official said today.

RSS headquarters in Nagpur, Kolkata Port and some unidentified defence establishments are also among the likely targets of the "Pashtoon-looking" terrorists, the official said.

The official said that just a few days before the terrorists sneaked into the country some "facilitator" had visited Mumbai to do a recce and to provide information about the possible hotels and guest houses where the terrorists could stay.

The official said instructions have been issued to authorities concerned to tighten security in and around these installations that may be targeted by the terrorists.

According to intelligence inputs, the World Cup Hockey, scheduled to be held in Delhi in February, and some civilian targets in Gujarat could also be targeted by these terrorists who have entered the country with the help of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT).

The Home Ministry has already alerted governments of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat and the Delhi Police to take necessary measures to beef up security in potential targets and intensify patrolling, especially in airports, railway stations, bus terminals and hotels, the official said.

In Kolkata, West Bengal Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen said though no specific target has been mentioned in the intelligence input, "we are keeping extra vigil and have strengthened force deployment in all public places like railway stations, airport, shopping malls and other areas".

Sen said the Centre's note was received on December 12, a day before the eighth anniversary of Parliament attack by terrorists, prompting the state government to sound general alert throughout the city.