A large team of security personnel, comprising 5,000 policemen, Indian Navy officials, Coast Guards, personnel from CISF and Fisheries department, yesterday initiated Operation Sagar Kavach, a mock drill to check preparedness of the city’s defence machinery to curb terror attack or entry of terrorists via sea.
It is for the first time that the police force has initiated such an operation at the state-level and under the guidance of the Chief Secretary. MiD DAY had carried a report (Pak-trained terrorists to target oil pipelines, Oct 1) on how the Intelligence Bureau (IB) had warned that the ISI was planning to send 50 men to destroy undersea oil pipelines in the state, Gujarat and Goa, following which police in the three states were on high alert.
For the two-day operation, the security personnel were divided into two teams — red and blue. While the red team acted as infiltrators, trying to gain access to the city via sea, the blue team was supposed to thwart the red team’s every attempt.
“It’s a practice that we take seriously. There are 54 landing points in the city and each one is well manned by police personnel. On the first day, the red team remained unsuccessful in its bid to enter the city via sea,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Port Zone) Tanaji Ghadge said.
The initiative was started after the 26/11 attacks when 10 terrorists had managed to enter the city via sea. “This is a combined operation, carried out by the Indian Navy, Coast Guard, Fisheries department and Mumbai police. The red team will make every possible attempt to enter the city. They can hijack an oil vessel or a small fishing dinghy,” Additional Commissioner of Police (South Region) Krushna Prakash said.
The blue team would have been fined if the red team had managed to enter the city. While the red team was given boats and logistic support to reach the shore, blue team was allowed to invoke nakabandi, bandobast and individual frisking to stop the red team.