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IM threat casts shadow over Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

December 31, 2008 18:13 IST

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Just days before the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas meet at Chennai, surfacing of an email purportedly send by the Indian Mujahideen [Images] has prompted the government to redo security arrangements for the diaspora event.

The two line mail, which was received on the Confederation of Indian Industries' mail server, is signed off by the 'Indian Mujahideen'.

The mail says that the IM is keeping an eye on the developments of the three-day annual event organised for the Indian diaspora, which is to be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] and President Pratibha Patil [Images], besides other leaders.

"This mail states that they will be keeping a keen eye on the PBD at Chennai, where they claimed they could strike next," said a CII official.

The PBD 2009 event is being organised jointly by the CII and the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and it will host nearly 1,500 NRIs and Persons of Indian Origins.

CII's Deputy Director General Supriya Bannerjee had forwarded the copy of the mail to the MOIA seeking 'affirmative action' from the government.

Following the development, MOIA Secretary K Mohandas and Minister Vayalar Ravi are learnt to have undertaken a complete review of security arrangements at all PBD venues in Chennai.

"It could well be the handiwork of a prankster, but in either case we are ensuring a complete review of all the venues," said another ministry official.

"The mail has been forwarded to the Home ministry authorities, who stated that their cyber experts would attempt to trace the sender of the threat mail," said a Diaspora Service official at the MOIA.

The IM had earlier claimed responsibilities for serial blasts in Uttar Pradesh [Images], Ahmedabad [Images] and Delhi [Images] through emails sent to media houses.

Authorities said Chennai was chosen for the event for its 'safe atmosphere'.

For the last two years, the PBD was held at Delhi, which also witnessed a marked drop in attendance of delegates.

This year, the government is hopeful that choosing Chennai as the location would give a much required fillip to the annual event as many NRIs and PIOs hail from the southern part of India.

The event is scheduled to be held from January 9 onwards at Chennai.

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