The decision to set up the committee, comprising representatives from various security agencies, was taken at a meeting chaired by Collector K. Nanthakumar last week. The meeting discussed the need for strengthening coastal security following specific inputs that some suspicious characters, having terror links, might intrude from Sri Lanka via sea route.
The meeting was attended by Superintendent of Police N.M. Mylvahanan and representatives from other security agencies such as Special branch, Q branch, Special division, Indian Coast Guard, Intelligence Bureau, Marine Police, Naval detachments, Forest and Fisheries departments.
Lack of coordination
As there was lack of coordinated action by different agencies involved in coastal security under the existing system, the committee would help to coordinate better and prevent poaching and smuggling activities and infiltration of suspicious characters, Mr. Mylvahanan said. The district has 276-km long coastline dotted with 184 hamlets from S. P. Pattinam to Sayalkudi.
The Collector is likely to appoint representatives from different agencies as nodal officers on the committee and the new mechanism would be put in place soon, the SP said.
As part of strengthening the coastal security, the existing watchtower at Muhuntharayar Chathiram in Danushkodi would be used for maintaining surveillance from the southern tip of Rameswaram island, he said. “This will give a very good view from top up to Arichal Munai, the landing point for intruders,” Mr. Mylvahanan said.
Policemen, armed with binoculars, would keep a watch round-the-clock from the watch tower. The structure would be given a fresh coat of painting, he said.
Besides, a police guard post would be set up at Palam in Danushkodi. Four police sentries would be deployed at the post and they would be equipped with arms and binoculars. The guard post would be set up within a month.
Spurt in smuggling
The security measures assumed significance in the backdrop of the spurt in smuggling activities of gold and ganja and landing of more than 15 Sri Lankan Tamils unchecked at Arichal Munai point in the recent past. (The Hindu)