Al- Qaida terrorists may have slipped into India using Sri Lankan fishing boats, The Economic Times in India reported. However the Indian Navy brushed aside the report saying it was impossible for them to reach Indian shores in foreign fishing vessels.
An uncorroborated intelligence input from Assam about groups of al- Qaida terrorists slipping into India was one of the reasons behind the high alert sounded over the weekend in New Delhi, The Economic Times in India reported.
Police forces have been asked to look out for groups of terrorists from the al-Qaida trying to sneak into the country from the western coast. Though the input was not corroborated, authorities did not want to leave anything to chance at a time when the Lashkar and other Pakistan-based terrorist groups sound determined to launch huge attacks on India.
At least a couple of inputs from Assam over the past two weeks said about 140 alleged al-Qaida members may have sneaked into India from the western coast, using Sri Lankan fishing boats. Navy sources brushed aside the `alarmist` input, saying it was impossible for such a large number of people to reach Indian shores in foreign fishing vessels.
But the Assam police not just repeated their warning, they also gave more details on the al-Qaida plot, insisting that the terrorists had landed along the Gujarat-Maharashtra coast and dispersed to various parts of India. Some 30 of them were said to have gone to Rajasthan and 14 to Uttar Pradesh. About 15-20 may have gone to Hyderabad and 12 to Maharashtra. Of the remaining, 40 went to southern states and five to the Delhi/Haryana area. A few of them may have been killed in J&K in encounters in recent days, the Assam police input said. Sources within the security establishment, however, are doubtful of the claims. There was no corroboration from any other sources, they said.
However, the home ministry had issued detailed alerts last Friday to the affected states, not wanting to take any chances. This is the second time in the past two weeks when the Centre has issued serious terror warnings to several states, The Economic Times in India reported.