Commandos posted at Synagogue, St Francis Church in Kochi

| March 14, 2010

Commandos have been posted at the Jewish Synagogue at Mattancherry, the oldest place of worship of the Jewish community in the Commonwealth region, and St Francis church at Fort Kochi following a union Home Ministry alert about a possible terror strike in the city. Police said 10 commandos each have been posted at St Francis church and the Synagogue. A Quick Reaction Team of Kerala police are among those manning the two heritage sites in the light of intelligence inputs that Lashkar-e-Taiba militants may attempt to strike in the city.

The remains of Potuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama was first buried at St Francis church before it was taken to his country. Police said sea patrolling has been intensified and vehicles are also being checked. Kochi Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham convened a meeting of officials of Cochin Port, Cochin Shipyard, Navy, Coast Guard, Central Industrial Security Force and five star hotels today and asked them to heighten security.

Kochi houses various important installations, including Southern Naval command and Cochin Shipyard Ltd, where India's first indigeneously developed aircraft carrier is being built. Security has also been stepped up at Kochi airport and High Court premises as also at two Hotels of the Taj group. Union Home Secretary G K Pillai had yesterday informed the Kochi Police Commissioner and asked him to beef up security in and around Kochi.

Kochi is also a favourite destination of Luxury cruise operators. "Explorer", a luxury vessel, is expected to reach Kochi from Chennai en route Mauritius in a day or two. About 180 crew and 140 passengers will arrive here and another 300 would board the vessel from Kochi. "Queen Mary", with about 2000 passengers and 1000 crew on board, is expected to arrive by the month end, Kochi port sources said.

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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