Kozhikode (North Kerala), Jan. 2: Reports of a ship carrying contraband arms and ammunition of the Dawood Ibrahim gang have forced authorities to flash a red alert along the coastline spreading across Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala.
The alert has been sounded by the directorate of revenue intelligence, customs, the coast guard and the intelligence department. Sources said the ship, Ayesha, is carrying weapons of mass destruction, like rocket launchers, and the ammunition could include RDX.
The ship apparently left the Dubai coast in the third week of December and was originally scheduled to dock in Mumbai. However, the security measures along the Mumbai coastline forced Dawood’s gang to chalk out alternative plans, the sources claimed.
Intelligence officials felt that the altered destination could be anywhere between Goa and north Kerala. The ship is expected to dock within the next 10 days.
The reports have fuelled speculation among the security establishment that the contraband could be intended for attacks in the southern coastal states. The targets could be in Goa, Dakshina Kannada and north Kerala, the sources said.
As part of the red alert, additional forces have been deployed in Kozhikode, Kannur, Bekal and Kasargod in north Kerala and Mangalore, Udupi, Kundapur, Bhatkal, Honnavar and Karwar in Karnataka.
In areas around the Kerala–Karnataka border, the intelligence department has been keeping a strict vigil for the past one month following reports of illegal stay of some Pakistani nationals and possible dumping of arms and ammunition in the communally-sensitive region.