The Deputy Inspector General, B.S. Yadav, Commander, Coast Guard, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, said that the strength of the Coast Guard will not be downsized along the coast off Rameswaram.

The coast (Palk Strait and Gulf of Mannar) continued to be sensitive as far as coastal security was concerned owing to proximity to Sri Lanka and the fishermen issue. Though there was no conflict in the island nation, the security forces could not be complacent. Hence, there was no chance of reduction in patrolling, he said.

He was here on Friday to receive the newly commissioned C-146, an advanced interceptor vessel of Coast Guard built by ABG Shipyard in Surat, to be berthed at Coast Guard Station, Mandapam. Asked whether there were any intrusions from the Sri Lankan side, Mr. Yadav said there were reports that a few Sri Lankans continued to cross over through International Maritime Boundary Line claiming to be refugees. The Coast Guard would apprehend the Sri Lankans if they crossed the IMBL without valid documents. They would be handed over to the State police. He added that the Coast Guard was committed to imparting training to the Coastal Security Group of State police. It would extend all help, including technical and mechanical assistance to the CSG for operating boats and others. He complimented that Tamil Nadu was ahead of other States in establishing CSG marine stations and acquiring boats, equipment for patrolling.

Commandant D.S. Saini, Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Station, Mandapam, said that security had been strengthened along Rameswaram coast with the arrival of C-146. It would be beneficial to monitor the movement of suspected vessels or persons round-the-clock, as it had features for night patrolling too.