'No LTTE threat in Kerala coast'

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Thiruvananthapuram, June 11 (UNI) Coast Guard Commander for Kerala and Lakshadweep Vijay Chafekar said there was no possibility of the LTTE shifting its activities to the Kerala Coast.

Addressing newspersons at the Coast Guard station here, he said there was only a small possibility of shifting the activities to the Kerala Coast, rather than neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

Though there were some media reports in this regard, he said the Coast Guard had no information.

The Commander said smuggling of gold and silver through the coast had considerably decreased.

He said construction of a 50-metre wharf for the Coast Guard would be completed in an year and the State Government had agreed for another 50 metre wharf, which would help to anchor big ships.

Commander Chafekar said lack of an air space in the city hampered rescue operations in the area, as its helicopters and big ships had to come from Kochi now.

The Coast Guard had taken all steps to extend help to fishermen in the monsoon season and during the ban of trawling, which would be imposed from June 15, he said.

It would deploy one ship of OPV and FPV class at seas at all times for sea rescuing. Besides, Dornier aircraft would be deployed and a helicopter also would be made available from Kochi, if needed.

It had also conducted an exercise for testing sea rescue ''Beacon'', developed by the ISRO for fishing community, he said, adding that such a device was being used by big ships.

The advantage of the Beacon was to locate the fishing boat, as signals from it would reach its Mumbai headquarters. Twenty such devices had been given to fishermen, he added.

UNI CGV GD AK RL VC1754

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