Lashkar makes I-Day plans for metros NEW DELHI: The Lashkar-e-Taiba is plotting to strike once again around August 15, this time in the three metros of Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata, according to specific intelligence inputs with the Centre. Home ministry sources disclosed that the fresh terror threat follows an increase in infiltration from across the western border in the recent months. Intelligence agencies have specific inputs that several of these infiltrated terrorists have already moved beyond J&K to the country’s hinterland, and may be holed up in cities like Kolkata, preparing for a fresh strike around the Independence Day. The Union home ministry has already alerted the states concerned by sending out advisories seeking heightened vigil at key buildings and crowded places around August 15. The alert would extend to the upcoming religious events and festival season as well, starting with the month of Ramzan that begins on August 21 followed by Durga Puja, Dussehra and Diwali. More than 200 cases of infiltration have been recorded so far in 2009, compared to just 263 cases in the whole of 2008. This has the security agencies worried as they feel that intruders may be lying low, waiting for the right opportunity to unleash terror. To cite an instance, though 300-400 terrorists are estimated to be holed up in and around Srinagar, there has been no major attack so far. The intelligence agencies had feared that the Amarnath Yatra would be targeted, but it ended peacefully on Wednesday. Now, with intercepts hinting at the presence of intruders in cities like Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad, the agencies are busy tracking their movements and hope to intercept them before they can strike. “The infiltrators into J&K are lying low as they have not been able to strike in view of the stepped up vigil in the Valley state...but some have already fanned out to other states and may carry out an attack by going for easy targets,” warned a senior MHA official. The threat of a terror attack or an insurgent strike grows manifold in the run-up to the Independence Day. Keen to defy the state, the rebel/terror groups aim to make a political point by hitting around the two days of national importance: Republic Day and Independence Day. Stating that there is no indication of Pakistan having done anything so far to contain terrorist groups operating from its soil, a senior MHA official cited Wednesday’s multiple infiltration bids, during which 11 terrorists were neutralised, as well as the recent discovery of a tunnel dug across the Indo-Pak border to emphasise that terrorists continued to have a free run in the neighbouring country. There is no way, the official insisted, that such large-scale infiltration as well as construction of the tunnel could happen without the knowledge of Pakistan.