Security has been beefed up at the century-old Pamban rail bridge, India's first cantilever bridge, on Wednesday, following a threat that the bridge would be blasted.

Railway intelligence sources here said the Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, Railway Protection Force (RPF) in Chennai had received a copy of the now defunct “Ramnad News” on Monday, which carried a ‘report’ that the Pamban Rail bridge would be blasted by “terrorist V.Marudhupandian and team.”

Enclosing the copy, the Senior RPF official in Chennai alerted the RPF security officials in Madurai and advised them to provide necessary bandobust arrangement at the site in coordination with the Tamil Nadu Railway Police (TNRP) and local police.

After receiving the letter on Wednesday, the RPF security officials in Madurai deployed four armed policemen from the RPF and TNRP at the Railway bridge. Sniffer dog and bomb disposal squads are likely to be pressed into service on Thursday, the sources said.

When contacted, Superintendent of Police N.M. Mylvahanan said the report in the ‘Ramnad News’ said the ‘terrorist’ ‘Marudhupandian, who was working in the private company would blast the Rail bridge with his team.

“This appears to be highly motivated but we do not want to take any chance,” the SP told The Hindu. He said additional police security would be posted on either side of the rail bridge following the threat.

The Highway patrol would be parked on the road bridge to watch any suspicious movement on the track, he said. The patrol vehicle would keep moving on the road bridge and keep a watch on the track, he said. The Coastal Security Group (CSG) has also been alerted, he added.

The SP said preliminary investigation showed that the threat letter had gone from Bharathi Nagar near the Collectorate but carried a false address.

Police have launched an investigation to trace the source of the threat letter, he said.

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