Staff Reporter

Explosives meant for blasts in Tamil Nadu kept there: reports

Police take 70 persons into custody for questioning

KOLLAM: The Kerala Police launched a massive security operation on Thursday in the eastern sectors of the district following reports that explosives meant for a serial blast conspiracy in Tamil Nadu have been stashed in the vicinity of Punalur near here.

The information had come from the Tamil Nadu Police on the basis of ‘confessions’ obtained from three persons with alleged terrorist links nabbed by the Tirunellveli police a couple of days ago.

The estate complex of Rehabilitation Plantations Limited was one of the main targets of the police team, which took more than 70 persons into custody for interrogation. While some were let off, others have been detained at the Punalur station.

It is understood that a team from the ‘Q’ Branch of the Tamil Nadu Police is also in the area. However, district police authorities said the Tamil Nadu team had not contacted them, though they had some reports on the presence of the ‘Q’ Branch here. Their presence is for tracking down Toufiq, allegedly a main conspirator, a police source said.

Police sources said that the Special Branch of the police had launched a probe into an alleged visit by three Saudi nationals to the Thenmala dam site more than ten days ago. Sources said that the probe has been launched in the backdrop of reports of explosives stashed away at Punalur.