Saturday, April 24, 2010

Security Agencies Serious Over Terror Alert

Even as Delhi Police on Thursday maintained that there was no need to react to ‘‘external warnings’’, there were enough indications on the ground that the security agencies were taking international warnings about possible terror attacks in the city seriously.

Senior home ministry officials said they had warned the Delhi Police about possible terror attacks. “We are aware of the recent developments and have taken steps accordingly,” said a senior MHA official. Sources said MHA and MEA had been warned that terrorists might try to scuttle the Commonwealth Games.

The likely target areas according to inputs are crowded places like popular markets and tourist spots. Several markets Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, Karol Bagh, Connaught Place and Mehrauli have already witnessed heightened security activities in the last three days.

Sources claimed that the security situation was being closely monitored by MHA. ‘‘We are ready to thwart any terrorist attack in the city,’’ said a senior security officer.

Chief minister Sheila Dikshit assured citizens that security was on top of everyone’s agenda. ‘‘The MHA is on the job,’’ she said. Her comments came in the backdrop of US, UK, Australia and Canada issuing directions to its citizens to restrict themselves from visiting congested areas of Delhi following “increased indications” that terrorists are planning attacks in the capital.

‘‘Constant vigil is being maintained and all security measures have been put in place to prevent any terrorist strikes in the capital. Security is our prime concern,” Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said. He, however, said that there was no need to react to every warning.

Meanwhile, members of various market associations said the police have become ‘‘very active’’ in the past three days. ‘‘There used to be one PCR stationed at the Sarojini Nagar Market. Now, there are two. The DCP was here three days back to meet us and he gave us tips on how to counter terrorist attacks. We have also deployed more private security guards,’’ said Ashok Randhawa, president of Sarojini Nagar Market Association.