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TNN | Sep 16, 2011, 07.02AM IST
AHMEDABAD: If you plan to take a trip outside Gujarat by private bus, it is advisable to travel light. All private luxury bus operators in the state have been put on alert by the Gujarat police after a terror alert issued by Central intelligence agencies.
The alert was sent by the intelligence agencies to Maharashtra police about a possible terror attack on luxury buses plying between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. No less than 200 buses ply between the two cities every day. "The intelligence input says luxury buses plying between Mumbai and Ahmedabad could be targeted. We have asked all the bus owners to be extra alert," a Mumbai police officer said on condition of anonymity.
The in-charge director general of police, Gujarat, Chittaranjan Singh, said: "We have been intimated about the intelligence input and requisite security measures have been taken to tackle any such eventuality. This apart, we have also decided to train private inter-state luxury bus operators to take adequate preventive and safety measures. Checking all luggages effectively will be part of this training." The state police on Thursday dispatched letters to private luxury bus operators for anti-terror training.
"Recently, we had imparted a similar training to BRTS, AMTS and government bus drivers, conductors and operators," said Singh. Gujarat police has been on a state of alert since the recent blast outside the Delhi high court.
Blasts blot on govt record: PC
Stating that India requires a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy, home minister P Chidambaram said on Thursday he hoped to secure a government decision on setting up the long-pending National Counter-Terrorism Centre to help tackle multiple threats including homegrown terror. Speaking to state police chiefs and intelligence officials on Thursday, Chidambaram said the two recent bomb blasts in Mumbai and Delhi are a "blot" on the government's record but the context of India's proximity to Afghanistan-Pakistan made it vulnerable.
Chidambaram said terrorist groups based in Pakistan continued to target India, but Indian modules were a reality as were groups that espouse the cause of rightwing religious fundamentalism or separatism. Many of them, he said, have acquired the capacity to make bombs. On the crucial aspect of capacity building to tackle terrorism, he said the most important "unfinished agenda" is NCTC. "I hope to secure a government decision on setting up the NCTC.
Once there is a decision, I am confident the core team of NCTC can be installed within 60 days and the full structure can be put together within 12-18 months." Pointing to the wide arc of threats India needs to deal with, Chidambaram said: "There is no let up in attempts to infiltrate from across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Besides, there are attempts to infiltrate terrorists via Nepal and Bangladesh into India as well as find a safe transit route from Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu." He said Af-Pak is epicentre of terror and home to three Pakistan-based groups that target India - Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hijbul Mujahideen. "There are Indian modules too. They seem to have the capacity to attract radicalised youth. Some modules are loosely knit under an organization called Indian Mujahideen. Many old cadres of the banned SIMI have morphed into IM cadres."
Referring to the threat of Hindutva groups, the home minister said: "There are other Indian modules that espouse the cause of right-wing religious fundamentalism or separatism. Many modules have acquired the capacity to make bombs.