Sri Lanka call not serious, danger lurks

Chennai: On the face of it, the Colombo call warning of large-scale Pakistani terrorist incursion into Tamil Nadu does not worry the police intelligence network much, but those in charge of monitoring terror threats are aware that serious danger now lurks in Sri Lanka that’s less than two hours by boat across the Palk Strait.
“I will not rate high that phone call to Maniyachi DSP office. How did that anonymous caller from Colombo know the phone number of this obscure police office? We asked the person who received the call, head constable Arul Selvan, for details.
He said the call came around 10.30 pm and the caller asked in Tamil, ‘Are you aware that 35 Pakistani terrorists have landed in Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka by boat with weapons, and six more are getting ready’. Even for the big Mumbai operation, they had sent only ten”, said a senior intelligence officer on condition of anonymity. He added, “Now that we have the Colombo number, we are tracing the caller”.
Another officer said there had been ‘some inputs’ from the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard patrolling the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar, saying that there could be ‘likely movements’ of some boats from the Mannar side to land in Tamil Nadu anywhere between Kanyakumar and Pudukottai. “We think that these movements could be of smugglers bringing in narcotics or weapons; may not be terrorists. But we are taking no chances”, he said.
The officer, who has been dealing with the ‘terror’ portfolio for many years, pointed out that north Lanka had become vulnerable for use by Pakistani terrorists after the Eelam war. The region became a free turf for the Lankan forces and their Pakistani allies after the elimination of the LTTE.
“The situation is particularly worrisome because our domestic political compulsions are driving Colombo to get closer to Islamabad. Since we have stopped training the Lankan military personnel, they are seeking training facilities in Pakistan and that is bringing the two allies even closer”, the officer said.He said, “It is unfortunate that for the sake of some 20,000 fishermen, we are turning our southern neighbour against us.
Our fishermen hug their coast and empty their marine wealth upside down; yet we support these marauding fishermen and demand that they have a free run of another country’s waters. We are such a mighty nation but still, we want to steal the little resources of a tiny island just recovering from a long war”.

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