Focus on thwarting intrusions, activation of sleeper cells

Central, State forces launch joint patrols of coastline ahead of Modi-Xi meet

Published - October 11, 2019 01:19 am IST - CHENNAI

CHENNAI,TAMIL NADU, 10/10/2019 : A Coast guard ship halts in the sea as security personnel patrol the beach near the shore temple in Mamallapuram ahead of the upcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping visit at heritage site of Mamallapuram on Thursday.Photo: B. Velankanni Raj/THEHINDU

CHENNAI,TAMIL NADU, 10/10/2019 : A Coast guard ship halts in the sea as security personnel patrol the beach near the shore temple in Mamallapuram ahead of the upcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping visit at heritage site of Mamallapuram on Thursday.Photo: B. Velankanni Raj/THEHINDU

Ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit for informal talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Mamallapuram, Central and State security agencies, including the defence forces, have launched an intensive operation to avert intrusion of extremist elements or activation of sleeper cells.

While vessels of the Indian Coast Guard will patrol the territorial waters along the eastern seaboard, the Tamil Nadu police will work with the Coastal Security Group to guard the shoreline to check activities of suspicious elements.

Coastal assets

According to police sources, intelligence agencies are working closely with the local police to keep tabs on the movement of sympathisers of banned outfits, who could provide logistic support from land to an intrusion by sea.

“It is not just for the protection of the VVIPs, but also the assets along the coast. There have been instances of foreign-based outfits trying to target ports, naval bases and other sensitive installations. Security personnel have been deployed to protect vital establishments and keep a watch on suspects who could aid sleeper cells by sharing crucial information,” a senior police officer said. Fisheries Department officials were told to monitor the departure/arrival of fishermen’s boats at the harbour and other landing points along the coastal districts, and share the data with the security control room.

A senior police officer said that the Marine Police would be deployed for patrolling at vulnerable points where boats were found abandoned in the past, while the local police would establish checkposts on all roads leading to the sea, to intercept and check vehicles.

Special teams have been screening high-rise buildings along the route of the VIP convoy, and collecting data of the employees/residents there.

Access control

Police personnel would be deployed on the terrace of such buildings with binoculars while armed guards would take positions at abandoned buildings from the noon of October 10, till the completion of the VIP programme, sources said.

Strict access control has been maintained at the Chennai airport and issue of entry passes to visitors was temporarily stopped. Adequate strength has been deployed along the periphery of the airport compound wall, and at the top of select buildings in the line of landing, the sources added.

The police are in touch with National Security Agency officials who are already on the hunt for extremists wanted in bomb blast cases. Combing operations were on in remote buildings, farmhouses and dilapidated structures in the city’s outskirts. Separate teams collected details of stock and movement of explosive consignments from warehouses of licensed stockists across the State.

Based on information shared by immigration officials, the police have been keeping track of the movement of some foreign nationals who arrived in Tamil Nadu recently, police sources said, and added that the management of IT majors and other establishments along the route of the convoy were informed not to allow entry/exit of staff or visitors during certain hours on October 11 and 12.

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