Panaji, Dec 31 : Goa Police on Saturday deployed its anti-terrorism squad and reserve police in anticipation of a possible terror attack by Jaish-e-Mohammad or Lashkar-e-Taiba. The move came a day after Israel issued a travel warning for India, in the wake of possible attempts to carry out attacks against Western tourists.
The terrorists might strike along the North Goa beach belt, a popular beach party destination, especially on New Year’s Eve, according to intelligence sources.
The Israel’s counter-terrorism bureau recommended that Israeli tourists in India avoid attending New Year’s events or visiting marketplaces, festivals or crowded shopping centres.
Speaking to reporters, Director General of Police Muktesh Chander while confirming the threat said: “Yes, we have received this specific intelligence input.”
Police sources said that the anti-terrorism squad and reserve police units have been deployed along the North Goa beach belt, especially in Anjuna, Calangute and Baga beach villages, which host a majority of the New Year’s Eve parties which were patronised by thousands of tourists, including foreigners.
“Special security arrangements have also been made to secure areas which see a high density of tourists on New Year’s Eve,” police sources said.
The coastal state attracts more than four million tourists every year, with half a million tourists being foreign nationals, most of them from Russia and Britain.
Earlier on Saturday, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said there was no specific terror alert for Goa area.
Police sources, however, said, the new specific terror alert issued by central intelligence agencies, was received by Goa police around noon on Saturday.
“The Chief Minister has been briefed again about the new input subsequently,” informed sources said on condition of anonymity.
In 2008 militants killed 166 people, among them five Israelis, in a series of attacks in Mumbai, targeting hotels, a central train station, popular café and a Chabad house.