Mr. Nimba Singh Rawat, Master Chief Petty and Executive Officer, Naval detachment, said the Navy apprehended four people

After a high drama in mid sea, the naval detachment here on Tuesday apprehended four Sri Lankan Tamils, including a couple and child, who tried to arrive clandestinely.

A naval boat, which was on patrol since Monday night, sighted a Fibreglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) boat around 6.45 a.m. on Tuesday and brought it to the naval jetty after a chase and with the assistance of another naval vessel.

When the naval personnel, on seeing a woman and a child on the boat, signalled it to stop but it tried to escape, said Commander Amitabhanandi of the naval detachment.

The crew on the patrolling vessel overtook the boat and asked the occupants to navigate it to the naval jetty, but they tried to speed away. The crew then informed the jetty and sought assistance of another boat.

The second vessel was pressed into service and the two cornered the boat and brought it to the jetty, the Commander told reporters.

Mr. Nimba Singh Rawat, Master Chief Petty and Executive Officer, Naval detachment, said the Navy apprehended four people and identified them as N. Nirmalan (24) from Jaffna, his wife Nishanthini (23) from Trincomalee, their one-year-old son Dilshan and K. Kalaisaran (32), the boat driver.

The naval detachment seized two out-board machines, four cans of petrol and some tools from the boat. The Lankan Tamils were in possession of 535 Sri Lankan currencies, he said.

Enquiries by the Q branch police revealed that the couple had decided to come to India with their child as they faced threats to their lives as their parents opposed their love marriage and threatened to kill them. Kalaisaran, a friend of them, who was living separately after his wife deserted, joined them.

They stole the FRP boat and arrived here in the early hours of Tuesday, Q branch sources said.

On being handed over, the Marine police arrested them under Section 3 (a) read with 6 (a) of Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950 and Section 14 of the Foreigners Act.

Remanded in judicial custody

They were produced before a magistrate who remanded them in judicial custody, Marine police said.

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