Security stepped up after Sri Lanka’s ban on terror groups

DGP warns of possible infiltration of extremists into T.N.

Security has been intensified at airports with international arrivals and those in the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, following an alert on the possible infiltration of religious fundamentalists from Sri Lanka. The threat was perceived immediately after Sri Lanka initiated the process of banning 11 terrorist groups, including the Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

In a note to all Commissioners/Superintendents of Police, State Director-General of Police J.K. Tripathy said the proscribing of 11 terror outfits in the island nation could have repercussions in India, and more specifically in Tamil Nadu.

Members of the outlawed organisations were extremists or terrorists trained to thrive in the underground and the likely asylum of most cadre was Tamil Nadu, considering its geographical proximity and willing patronage, he said.

Pointing to the likelihood of illegal immigration of religious fundamentalists from Sri Lanka by air or sea, Mr. Tripathy said fishing boats could also ferry extremists across the Bay of Bengal. While local sympathisers might facilitate logistics for their travel, the extremists, after finding shelter in the State, might continue to indulge in nefarious activities against Sri Lanka from Indian soil, he said.

The DGP directed senior police officers to step up the intelligence machinery and intensify surveillance across the State to prevent religious fundamentalists from setting up base in Tamil Nadu. A few fundamentalist organisations such as the National Towheed Jamath that were already banned by the Sri Lankan government were keeping in touch with the Towheed Jamath of India, he said.

Acting on recommendations of a high-level committee constituted to go into the background of the 2019 Easter Sunday suicide attacks that left 270 people, including 11 Indians, dead, the Sri Lankan government decided to proscribe 11 extremist groups, police sources said.

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