The State has nearly 114-km defence safety zone and about 630 fishing villages along the coast

BHUBANESWAR: Amid growing security threat on vital installations, the National Security Guard (NSG) will conduct the first operational reconnaissance of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) from where DRDO conducts flight tests of indigenous missile systems.

Sources said a team of 29 Special Composite Group of NSG will undertake operational reconnaissance to check preparedness of the defence unit to thwart possible terror attacks. ITR, an important laboratory of DRDO, is vulnerable to attacks by terrorist outfits and warnings from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in regular intervals have sprung more worries for security agencies responsible for safeguarding life and property.

The threat on the defence establishment is growing as five staff of ITR including a driver of the Director were arrested on espionage charges for allegedly leaking information to Pakistani agents last year. Every year, police picks up unknown people while roaming the prohibited areas of the establishment.

Intelligence sources said Odisha, along with West Bengal and Manipur, could emerge as a haven for several terror outfits as ‘jihadi’ elements mingle with illegal Bangladeshi migrants and function as ‘sleeper cells’.

The alarm bell has started ringing as the sea route could be used for attack on major establishments. The poorly equipped marine police stations escalate the threat perception. Sources said, Group Commander Munish Thakur has urged IG (Operation) to instruct authorities concerned including the Collector and SP for facilitating reconnaissance scheduled to be undertaken on October 20 and 21.

Apart from ITR, the Proof and Experimental Establishment (PXE), another unit of DRDO at Chandipur in Balasore district, the naval centre at Chilika and the army and air defence college at Gopalpur in Ganjam district are the vital installations in the State under constant threat.

The State has nearly 114-km defence safety zone and about 630 fishing villages along the coast. The Bangladeshi migrants have their presence in most of these villages. The defence establishments at Chandipur are ringed by two tiers of security forces - one by Defence Security Forces (DSF) and another by the State police. Several platoons Defence Security Core (DSC) have been deployed in the ITR and PXE.