'Q' Branch police slams rumours on Prabhakaran ''visit'

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Rameswaram, Jan 26 (UNI) Strong rumours were afloat that LTTE supremo V Prabhakaran had 'infiltrated' into this island along with his wife Madivadani following reports that the Sri Lankan army was targeting important camps of the extremst organisation fighting for a separate Tamil state in the island nation.

The Branch police embarked on a thorough search operation in all the refugee camps and the coastal areas here, police said.

According to reports, Prabhakaran and his wife had slipped into Rameswaram on Januray 10 in the garb of refugees.

However, the police later dismissed it as plain rumour.

It may be recalled that the Lankan army claimed that it had bombed a key LTTE camp at Kalmakulam near Killinochi in the island nation with super-sonic aircraft. The reports also claimed that Prabhakaran, who was reportedly in the camp, had left it just 15 minutes before the bombing.

It was rumoured that from the camp, Prabhakaran had slipped into Rameswaram and left for Coimbatore and underwent medical treatment there. The rumours also had it that a ten-member LTTE team had 'infiltrated' to make arrangements for their leader's secret trip to Coimbatore for medical treatment.

Prabhakaran's 'visit' was the topic of discussion among people throughout Rameswaram yesterday.

Police also clarified that such rumours had become a routine in Rameswaram. Nevertheless, police and the 'Q' Branch have tightened security and search operations in the region.

UNI XR VV SKB HT1646

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