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55 islands across Gujarat coastline on red alert

Patrolling has been intensified on these islands, and several security measures like boat and aerial patrolling besides other different gadgets are being conducted on these islands.

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As many as 55 islands across 1,600 km long coastline of Gujarat state are currently under marine police, coast guard, and Navy's radar in connection with the recent IB reports about terror threat to the state. Five out of these islands have human population, while the remaining islands are non-inhabitated.

Patrolling has been intensified on these islands, incidentally, one among which was allegedly used by terrorists who had designed the Mumbai attack in 2008.

Several security measures like boat and aerial patrolling besides other different gadgets are being conducted in these areas.

"Islands having human population already have police chowkies which have been instructed to increase patrolling," a cop from marine police told DNA.

The islands with no human population too are closely monitored by marine police.

The cop said that continuous watch is kept on these islands to avert any illegal entry in the state.

The network of information sources from fishermen of these areas too have been used to know the exact movements towards and from these islands.

"Many fishermen are helping us gather information related to these islands," the cop said. Island's security is one of the important aspects of coastal security of the state. Sources also said that the terrorists from Pakistan who took the coastal route from Gujarat to Mumbai to attack it too used one of the islands before they reached Mumbai.

Talking to DNA, superintendent of police, Anti Terrorists Squad (ATS), Gujarat State, Manoj Shashidharan said that the security of the islands is one of the prime concerns and all the agencies have intensified patrolling in and around these islands. He also said that patrolling till 6 nautical miles is done in 5 tonne and 12 tonne boats, while in deeper seas the Coast Guard boats are used for patrolling.

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