Security was tightened along the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu on Saturday evening following an input that armed men sailing on a boat from Sri Lanka planned to enter the State with a sinister design.
Police sources said the alert was 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 sources said.
Armed guards deployed
Though there was no information on the organisation to which they belonged, the sources said the caller had claimed that the trio conspired to launch an attack. While vigil along the coastal districts was stepped up with intensified night patrolling, armed guards were deployed at checkpoints on the roads leading to the coastal belt, the sources said.
The police were 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.
Policemen were in touch with fishermen and members of the village vigilance committees in fishing hamlets to check whether they saw any strangers or came across any suspicious activity along the coastline in the last 24 hours, the sources said.
Heightened security arrangements have already been in place in Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli districts ahead of the first death anniversary of trader Jayaraj and his son Benicks. They died after an alleged assault by policemen at the Sattankulam station last year.
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 sources added.