Tighter security drill for Modi after death threat
Security agencies will unveil new security norms for Prime Minister Narendra Modi following a death threat from a Pakistan-based terrorist group, official sources say.
Security forces are being told to beef up security dramatically ahead of upcoming elections in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand where Modi is expected to address several public rallies.
Officials are taking seriously a tweet from the spokesperson of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat Ahrar (TTP-JA).
The group, which claimed responsibility for the Nov 2 suicide bombing on the Pakistan side of Wagah check post near the Indian border that left around 60 people dead, has threatened the Indian prime minister.
"You are the killer of hundreds of Muslims. We w(il)l take the revenge of innocent people of Kashmir and Gujarat," TTP-JA spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan has been reported as saying in published reports.
Modi is keen that his security retinue should not curb his interaction with people, official sources say.
He is expected to address a series of rallies in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand over the next few weeks, ahead of assembly elections in November and December.
The sources said requisite intelligence inputs have been passed on to various agencies looking after the prime minister's security, including the Special Protection Group (SPG) and Delhi Police.
They said states have been alerted to take extra security in view of the many public gatherings Modi will address.
The sources said security agencies were taking measures to beef up security and new security norms could be decided for the prime minister's public meetings.
TTP-JA is believed to have been founded in September after differences among the operatives of Tehreek-e-Taliban, Delhi Police sources say.
"They (TTP-JA) are inspired by Islamic State," said an official who did not want to be named.
Security analysts told IANS that Modi faced threats from terrorist groups.
Ranjit Rai, former director of Naval Intelligence, said terrorists could disrupt assembly polls in Jammu and Kashmir and that Modi was also their target.
"Our top leaders and strategic sites are the prime targets for attack by terror groups," Rai said.
He said the Modi government was perceived to be tough on the issue of terrorism.
Another security expert, S.K. Dutta, said Modi did face threats.
"The threat perception to Modi has grown after the Lok Sabha elections. His security mechanism should be constantly reviewed and upgraded," Dutta told IANS. - IANS