Latest information from the Intelligence Bureau suggests that as a way to avenge the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army on terror launch pads in PoK, Pakistan may now be targeting Indian oil installations.
According to a report by Economic Times, the Intelligence Bureau has intercepted a conversation in which a Pakistani spy posing as an officer of India’s external intelligence agency, the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) was talking to an executive managing a sensitive hydrocarbon pipeline in Rajasthan, from whom he is trying to extract finer details about the facility.
IB has therefore, advised the Oil Ministry to establish a safety and information shield at central energy installations.
In addition, IB warned the oil ministry to be extra sensitised and not share vital information as several Pakistani spies are making fake calls from across the border as well as within India to executives at oil installations to extract details.
The spies from Prakistan may be planning to blow up a pipeline or damage a refinery, which will cause immense harm by triggering energy shortage besides the loss of lives and infrastructure, IB warned.
Oil installation in Rajasthan, Punjab and Gujarat, which share borders with Pakistan are most vulnerable to such attacks specially as the three refineries account for 45 percent of India’s refining capacity. While the CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) guards most oil refineries in the country, pipelines are usually more vulnerable as they aren’t constantly watched, and most companies do not employ very sophisticated technologies to ensure safety.
In the past India’s top refineries including Reliance Industries’ 60-million-tonne per annum refining complex, the world’s largest, Essar’s 20-million-tonne plant in Gujarat, and HPCL-Mittal’s 9-million-tonne refinery in Punjab, have faced terror threats although they have not been attacked.
An oil ministry spokesperson said that the home ministry handles internal security matters and will take the necessary action