Security has been stepped up in coastal areas of southern Tamil Nadu after Tuticorin police received an anonymous phone call warning that a group of terrorists have planned to infiltrate the state through Maniachi in Tuticorin district from Sri Lanka. Since Maniyachi is about 40 km from the coast, police suspect the call could have been made by some mischief mongers, the Times of India reported today.
Police said they could not gather more information from the caller about the threat, but said that they do not want to take chances by brushing it off as a prank call. Police said the telephone call was made to the DSP office at Maniyachi on Thursday night. “We received the call around 10.25pm. The call lasted for about 15 seconds. The caller who did not identify himself said that a group of 12 terrorists were about to enter the state through Maniyachi from Sri Lanka for carry out terrorist activities,” a police officer said.
Soon after the call, senior police officials in the district were alerted, who, in turn, informed about the call to their higher ups in the state. Subsequently, security all along the coast in southern districts was enhanced. The police force was on high alert and had mounted vigil along the coast only two days ago after an alert from central intelligence agencies warning that Pakistan-trained terrorists have planned to enter the state through the porous Tamil Nadu coast from Sri Lanka.
“In Tuticorin, we have tightened security for vital installations like the airport, port and Tiruchendur temple. Patrolling has been increased along the coast and check posts have been alerted to intensify vehicle checks,” said the police officer.
In Ramanthapuram district, from where Sri Lanka is just three hours away by boat, the telephone call has kept police on their toes. “The Coast Guard and Navy have heightened patrolling ever since the central security agencies’ alert. The marine police have also intensified patrolling along the shore,” said a police officer in Ramanathapuram. Village committees have been informed about the security threat and told to report to nearest police stations if they spot any strangers along the coast. Fishermen have also been told to keep a watch, when they are out for fishing, for strange vessels. Fishing boats that return to the shore are also thoroughly screened, said the officer.