Of the 52 armed commandos who tried to reach destinations as part of ‘Operation Hamla,’ 13 were held

Timely alert by fishermen helped police intercept ‘intruders’ who entered the land via sea to target vital installations across Tamil Nadu. Of the 52 armed commandos who tried to reach target destinations as part of ‘Operation Hamla’, a multi-agency mock drill to check the efficacy of security forces in the event of an exigency, 13 were apprehended based on the tip-off given by fishermen.

Additional Director-General of Police (Coastal Security Group) C. Sylendra Babu said the toll-free ‘1098’ number located at the CSG headquarters here received 13 calls from fishermen along the coastal belt who informed that they saw suspicious persons entering the land via sea. The operation that commenced at 6 a.m. on Thursday ended in about 48 hours. All the 52 armed ‘intruders’ were apprehended by the police.

“Besides Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh, we involved the Customs and Forest Department in the operation. There was perfect coordination among all agencies. Though the commandos tried their best to reach the vital targets, police intercepted them well in advance…this is the first time in recent years that all ‘intruders’ were cornered,” he said.

Dr. Babu said 15 fishermen who alerted the police on the movement of strangers along the coast would be suitably rewarded. “We have established ‘Village Vigilance Committees’ in 591 coastal hamlets. The Marine Police interact with the committee members comprising fishermen and others on a regular basis. Awareness has been created among the fishing community to inform the police in case they came across any suspicious activity or persons.”