Cops told to keep 'discreet' watch on schools in Maharashtra

Mumbai: Maharashtra Government has directed the police to "discreetly" keep a watch on schools across the State in the wake of an alert sounded by the Centre in the backdrop of terror attack on a Pakistani school.

The Centre has issued an advisory asking States to remain alert against possible terror attacks post the massacre of schoolchildren by Taliban militants yesterday.

"We have been asked by the Central agencies to stay alert. Taking serious note of the Centre's advisory, we have directed the police to discreetly keep a watch on schools across the State.

We are also using the state intelligence apparatus to gather inputs on possible targets," Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told PTI. Care is also being taken to ensure there is no panic amongst teachers or students and work at schools is carried out as per routine, he said.

"When the State Government directs the police to be on guard, we also have to ensure no panic is created on the
ground level. Caution is no doubt of utmost importance, but we cannot let teachers and children get scared and not attend classes. Our aim is to let them continue with their work."

Asked if there had been specific intelligence inputs on possible terror targets, he replied in the negative.

"As of now, there are no specific inputs on schools on the radar of terrorists. But we are keeping our eyes and ears open and ready to thwart any possible terror strikes," Fadnavis said.

As many as 132 children were among the 141 people who were massacred when heavily-armed Taliban suicide bombers stormed a Pakistan Army-run school in Peshawar.

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