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Suspicious boat spotted; west coast on alert

April 20, 2010 16:49 IST

A search operation by the Navy and Coast Guard, for a suspicious boat that was apparently sighted by fishermen off Diu coast, did not yield results but surveillance has been enhanced along the west coast, a Navy official said on Tuesday.

Fishermen in Diu informed security agencies on March 29 that they had seen a white boat with 'Al-Salam' written on it near the Diu coast. There were five persons on board and they were asking for directions.

This information triggered the fear that terrorists could be aboard it and planning strikes similar to the 26/11 attack on Mumbai.

"Soon after the information was shared with us, a massive search operation was carried out. Till now, no suspicious boat has been found. So far, we have not come across any such boat," the Navy official said.

"We cannot say the search operation is on now but surveillance along the coast has been enhanced. We are coordinating with the Coast Guard and policemen for various inputs," the official added.

Fishermen were also asked to be on alert and provide information if they find any such boat again, the official said.

Authorities are taking no chances considering the fact that ten Pakistanis, who attacked Mumbai on November 26, 2008, had used a boat to reach there from Karachi. Vigilance along the 40-km long coastline of Mumbai, which witnessed the November 26 terror attacks after ten terrorists entered the city via the sea, has also been beefed up.

Fifteen city police-owned boats, including four amphibious boats equipped with advanced technology including GPS, are patrolling the city's waterfront.

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