ECONOMYNEXT – The Tamil Nadu government in India has tightened the security of its coastal districts following intelligence of an imminent infiltration by an armed group of Sri Lankans, Indian media reported.
An alert was issued by a Central intelligence agency June 12 evening and the police have stepped up vigil in the towns of Kanyakumari, Toothukudi, Rameswaram and in Chennai, the the privately owned Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) reported.
The Chennai-based The Hindu reported late June 12 evening that Tamil Nadu authorities had been alerted of armed men sailing on a boat from Sri Lanka “to enter the state with a sinister design”.
Quoting police sources, The Hindu reported that the alert had been issued by a coastal security agency after a caller from Sri Lanka informed a police station in Madurai city that the men in possession of assault rifles were heading towards the Rameswaram coast.
Investigators were verifying the caller’s identity and trying to establish the identity of the suspects whose names were given as Ameer, Bharkath and Naseer, the newspaper reported citing unnamed sources.
According to the IANS report, the organisation the individuals belong to, if any, was not known as of June 13.
“Yes, there is an alert but I can’t reveal more than this at present. We have deployed armed policemen across all the main roads leading to coastal areas through the state,” the agency quoted a senior police officer at the state police headquarters in Chennai as saying.
The Hindu noted that citing sources that the caller had claimed the trio conspired to launch an attack.
The Tamil Nadu police are coordinating with coastal security and intelligence agencies to establish the veracity of the alert. Random checks were being conducted in remote buildings along the eastern coastline, the paper said.
“The Police presence along the coastal districts of Ramanathapuram and Kanniyakumari was enhanced last week following an input that hazardous chemicals from the Singapore-flagged merchant vessel, X-Press Pearl, that sank off the Colombo coast in the first week of June could get washed ashore,” The Hindu said quoting sources.
When contacted by EconomyNext, a spokesperson for Sri Lanka’s Defence Ministry said a statement will be released by the ministry regarding the situation later in the day. (Colombo/June14/2021)