Tamil Nadu cops comb Western Ghats

Following the finding of suspected training centres of Naxal and Tamil fringe groups in Karnataka in March, the Tamil Nadu police, including STF, Q branch and district police, have launched a combing operation in the Western Ghats.

Police teams from 12 districts are involved in the combing operation in the hilly terrain. “There is no specific information about the presence of Maoist training centres in the forest areas. But we don’t want to take any chance,” a senior police officer said.

The state police had busted a Maoist training camp in Theni hills in July 2007 after the locals alerted them about the presence of the camp.

The state police are now conducting the combing operation after the police found a suspected training camp in Dharamsalai and Chickmagalur. “Some pro-Tamil handbills were seized from the spot. So, it triggered suspicion that such groups could be working in Tamil Nadu,” police sources said.

In Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri police teams are looking for information on the presence of Naxal and Maoist activists.

A senior conservator of forests opined that the joint operation by the uniformed services would also help the forest departments improve the anti-poaching machinery across the Western Ghats.

There are more than seven tiger reserves adjacent to the Nilgiris biosphere and such combing operations would help the field directors nab poachers. And this being summer, it will be easy to perambulate the core areas of the jungle, the official explained.

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