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August 20, 1999
Security beefed up in Kutch to check infiltration of Pak-sponsored Afghans
High alert has been sounded to security forces on the international border in Kutch district of Gujarat bordering Pakistan, as tension mounted following reports that the neighbouring country has sent Afghan terrorists to infiltrate into this part of India.
According to intelligence sources in Bhuj, the 400-kilometre-long coastline has become 'very sensitive' and all the para-military forces have been asked to keep strict vigil, especially in wake of the August 11 incident of India shooting down a Pakistani plane.
The Kutch coast, which comprises one-third of the Gujarat coast from Koteshwar to Surajbari, is being guarded by the Coast Guard; the creeks are patrolled by the water wing of the Border Security Force in normal times. However, 'extraordinary surveillance' is now being observed following reports of Pakistani attempts to infiltrate Afghan terrorists in Kutch for subversive activities, sources pointed out.
Kutch District Magistrate and Collector Kamal Dayani has confirmed reports that the border wing of Gujarat Home Guards, a para-military taskforce under the state home department, has been placed under the Indian Army to guard the coastal border.
Sources said that terrorists could sneak into Kutch in at least some of the 'well-known' pockets at night. So the border wing, under the supervision of the army, had been posted to guard the sensitive and possible infiltration points.
The BSF had also intensified patrolling at the border outposts along the coastline, sources added.
Suspected ISI agent nabbed in the North-East
Meanwhile, in Tripura in the North-East, the Border Security Force arrested a Bangladeshi national suspected to be an Inter-Services Intelligence agent. The suspect was nabbed from Narayanpur near Agartala on Wednesday.
Official sources said today that senior police officials were interrogating the person, who was arrested while crossing the border.
Important documents and identity cards were recovered from him.
He was remanded to police custody for seven days.
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