The 1,076 km-long Tamil Nadu coastline is on high alert following an Intelligence Bureau warning of possible attacks by terrorists infiltrating Sri Lankan waters.
Coastal Security Group personnel have stepped up vigil. C.Sylendra Babu, Additional Director General of Police, Coastal Security Group (CSG), said on Thursday that a 38-strong fleet manned by security personnel was monitoring the movements of vessels to pre-empt infiltration by sea.
The CSG presence will be augmented with the induction of 20 new patrol and interceptor boats with higher capacity to intensify surveillance.
Sixty police personnel will be trained and deployed to operate the new vessels. Ex-Servicemen were manning the existing 24 interceptor boats and 14 Gemini boats (small boats with outboard engines), he added.
Commandant S.E.D.Anand Kumar, Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Tuticorin Station, said the ICG personnel were on alert along the Gulf of Mannar from Ramanathapuram to Kanyakumari.
Under security cover
Superintendent of Police M.Durai said the police personnel had enhanced vigil along the coast in Tiruchendur, where a bomb detection squad had been deployed. Entry and exit points had been regulated at the famous Tiruchendur temple, which had been brought under a tight security cover.
Fishermen had been instructed to alert the police if they noticed any suspicious movements, he also pointed out.
Inspector of Tuticorin Marine Police P.S.Ramesh Kumar said check-posts had been set up along the coastline at Vellapatti, Vembar, Vaipar, Kulasekarapatnam and Arumuganeri. Coastal Village Vigilance Committees had also been asked to inform the marine police of any unlawful activity, he said.
The Tuticorin Marine police will have one more vessel in addition to the two patrol boats in operation.