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Terror alert in Kolkata; Navy withdraws two warships

KOLKATA: Kolkata and its port area may face a terror attack, according to a warning issued by central intelligence agencies amid which the Navy has withdrawn its two warships that were docked at the port here.

A senior Kolkata police official said that inputs have been received from central security agencies that there might be a terror attack in Kolkata, especially in the port area. “We have beefed up security in the port area and have put the entire city under security blanket,” he said.

Amidst this warning, Navy warships – INS Khukri and INS Sumitra – which had docked at the port on Monday evening and was scheduled to be there till November 6 for public viewing as part of Naval Day celebration, made a sudden withdrawal on Tuesday.

Official sources in Delhi said the withdrawal was a precautionary measure. However, when asked whether the withdrawal of the ships was because of the terror alert, Defence CPRO Group Captain TK Singha said, “No, it has nothing to do with any terror alert. The recall of ships is strictly due to operational reasons.”

A Defence press statement issued in Kolkata said, “The alacrity by which Indian warships are ready for operation at a short notice was demonstrated by the quick turnaround of the two visiting warships amply showcasing Indian Navy's prompt readiness as the two warships are set to sail out within hours of a recall to the sea for undisclosed ‘operational reasons’ on orders by Eastern Naval Command HQ, today.”