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Red alert in Tamil Nadu

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KEEPING WATCH: Security stepped up at the office of the Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai on Monday.
KEEPING WATCH: Security stepped up at the office of the Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai on Monday.

S. Vijay Kumar

CHENNAI: High-level security was in place across Tamil Nadu soon after the news of the death of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader V. Prabakaran spread on Monday.

While intelligence agencies issued a red alert calling for enhanced vigil at vital installations, particularly in central Government establishments, the State police decided to move in para-military forces for deployment in sensitive districts, police sources said.

“We have issued an alert to all districts. Twenty-five companies of para-military forces will be deployed in vulnerable areas…we are expecting their arrival by Monday evening.

Surveillance has been stepped up in places of public gathering such as railway stations, bus stands and airports,” Director-General of Police K.P. Jain told The Hindu.

He said instructions were given to the Coastal Security Group to work in close coordination with the Navy and Coast Guard. “We have asked the intelligence machinery to mount vigil on the activities of pro-LTTE organisations. Preventive arrests will be made wherever necessary.”

Three-tier check

In Chennai, a strong posse of police personnel was posted and a three-tier security check maintained on all roads leading to the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission. Besides the Bank of Ceylon, Maha Bodhi Society and offices of the Sri Lankan Airlines, security was enhanced at major shopping malls and the IT corridor, Commissioner of Police K. Radhakrishnan said.

Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order) T. Rajendran said vehicle checks and night patrolling had been intensified. The focus is more on Coimbatore, Erode, Tiruchi, Madurai and Pudukottai, where activities of LTTE sympathisers have come to notice in the recent years.

“We are also roping in the Tamil Nadu Special Police and Armed Reserve as part of the enhanced security arrangements. Adequate deployment has been made in all Central Government offices, Tamil Nadu Electricity Board sub-stations and major bridges,” Mr. Rajendran said.

A senior police official said that authorities in the State Transport Undertakings were advised to prune services in remote areas after midnight. Surveillance was up in all refugee camps in the State. Quick Reaction Teams were positioned strategically to handle any emergency situation. No violent incidents were reported in the State on Monday, he said.

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