Kerala's state security apparatus has been put on high alert as a cargo ship with many Pakistani nationals was found passing by the Vizhinjam Port in Kerala. This comes a few days after the Chief of Army’s Southern Command had intimated a possible terror attack along the coast in South India.
A ship registered to Panama with 21 crew members aboard had sailed past Vizhinjam Port, south of state capital Thiruvananthapuram, two days ago. The ship had 20 Pakistani nationals and one Ethiopian national aboard which triggered the coast guard, navy, and airforce to track the vessel until it left Indian waters.
The ship, registered as a chemical tanker, started its journey from the Karachi Port a few days ago. The ship's sail time coincided with the abandoned boats found at Sir Creek near Gujarat by the Indian Army. This incident led to a warning of a possible attack through the coastal route.
The Army has received intel inputs suggesting that after several failed attempts of incursion from Kashmir, the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed is exploring the possibility of a sea-borne attack through the Southern Peninsula. Reports also indicate that 50 men were being trained by JeM in skills required for underwater attacks, possibly to target the naval bases and ships along the Southern coast of India.
On the basis of these inputs, all public places, including bus stands, railway stations, and malls in Kerala have been put on high alert by the DG and IGP Loknath Behara. In addition to this, all superintendents of police across the districts in Kerala have been asked to maintain heightened vigil in their jurisdiction. The vessel is being discreetly tracked by multiple agencies as the high number of Pakistani nationals on board raised the suspicions of coast guard who then alerted other agencies.
In the backdrop of the state celebrating its biggest festival, Onam, district heads were asked to keep extra vigil in places where people had gathered to celebrate. Navy bases in Kochi have also been provided additional security along with other crucial naval installations in Kerala.
While the vessel passed by around 60 kilometres from the Vizhinjam Port only for a few minutes, police sources in Kerala have told Republic that every single anomaly and abrasion along the coast will be taken seriously after Army inputs have implied that the JeM is desperate to infiltrate into India after their attempts along the LoC have been foiled by Indian Armed Forces.