NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India has put security agencies on nationwide alert for a militant strike in the lead-up to a visit by US President Barack Obama next month, citing an assault on a Pakistani school this week as a warning signal.
An advisory sent out on Tuesday to law enforcement agencies after the Pakistan Taleban stormed the Peshawar school, calls for increased security at vulnerable installations such as public transport, including railways, and schools.
India has repeatedly faced attacks blamed by India on Pakistan-based militant groups including the 2008 attacks on luxury hotels, a Jewish house and a train station in Mumbai in which 166 people were killed.
“It is felt that till the end of January 2015, the security forces and the intelligence agencies need to remain on a very high alert mode to prevent untoward incidents witnessed recently in the neighbourhood as well as in other parts of the world,” the home ministry said.
It named Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based group which carried out the Mumbai attacks, and the home-grown Indian Mujahideen tied to Pakistani militants as posing a threat.
Obama is due in India for Republic Day ceremonies on Jan 26 the first time a US president has attended the parade.
The ministry said Tuesday’s attack on a school in Pakistan, in whch 132 people were killed, and an incident in Sydney where a lone gunman took hostages in a cafe called for a heightened level of alert.
There was also the possibility of a lone wolf strike by a sympathiser of Islamic State, the group that has taken a swathe of Iraq and Syria and caught the imagination of radicalised youth in many countries.