Tight security in South TN for Sonia's visit

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Madurai, Apr 4 (UNI) A day ahead of the arrival of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson and AICC President Sonia Gandhi on a day's visit to Karaikudi, a tight security cover has been thrown over the Southern Districts of Tamil Nadu and along the South-Eastern Coastline of the State.

Ms Gandhi is scheduled to inaugurate an auditorium constructed by Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram for Alagappa University and address a farmers conference at Karaikudi in Sivaganga District tomorrow.

Speaking to UNI here today, IG (South Zone) Sanjeev Kumar, who is personally supervising the security arrangements, said about 800 policemen, including armed police and striking units, had been deployed in Karaikudi Town on bandobust duty.

Stating the police had made comprehensive security arrangements in view of Ms Gandhi's visit, he said armed policemen had taken positions at vulnerable points.

All entry and exit routes to Karaikudi have been brought under police control with night patrolling and vehicle check being intensified.

A bullet-proof stage was being made ready for the leaders. The Tamil Nadu Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) was pressed into service and anti-sabotage checks conducted at the venue as well as vulnerable points.

National Security Guard (NSG) commandos personally supervised the security arrangements at the venue after taking control this morning.

Meanwhile, a high alert has been sounded along the South-Eastern Coast in view of the visit.

Quoting Defence sources, a senior police official said the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) had activated their defence establishments.

Apart from routine air and sea surveillance, additional crafts and patrol vessels had been deployed for the surveillance to prevent LTTE intrusion.

UNI GSM KD KN1130

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