Arabic pamphlet in Britain-Goa flight triggers alarm

Panaji : A pamphlet published in Arabic found Tuesday in a chartered plane which flew from Manchester airport in Britain to Goa has triggered a security alarm here.

The alert comes less than two weeks before Prime Minister Mamohan Singh’s visit to Goa and a day after the state government formally announced that there was specific intelligence input about a possible terror strike in Goa.

While officials are completely tight-lipped about the incident, sources in the Airports Authority of India, Goa, said the pamphlet was found by the crew of the Manchester-Goa chartered flight which was carrying 219 passengers, most of whom were tourists from Britain on a two-week holiday to Goa.

“The pamphlet which is in Arabic was found in the aisle after the passengers exited and the crew were readying for a return journey,” sources said. The contents of the pamphlet are not clear yet, with no official commenting on the nature of the writing on it.

After a formal statement on terror threat was issued by the state government Monday, Home Minister Ravi Naik confirmed a specific terror input on Goa Tuesday.

Naik also said that two platoons of central security personnel had reached Goa to guard the beaches, places of historic interest and other vital installations.

The prime minister is like to visit the state Dec 18 in order to participate in the celebrations of Goa’s 50th anniversary of liberation from the Portuguese rule.

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