Lankan refugee camps under intelligence surveillance

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Madurai, Mar 6: In view of the ongoing intense fight between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan forces in the island nation, the Tamil Nadu intelligence agencies have mounted surveillance on Lankan refugee camps in the southern districts of the state to prevent possible intrusion of militants under the guise of refugees.

A senior police official of the South Zone told to to the sources here today that intelligence agencies, with the assistance of local police, were collecting details of Sri Lankan nationals staying in refugee camps as well those staying independently. Besides, intelligence officials were conducting thorough verification to ascertain the antecedents of strangers in private lodges. Vehicular checks have been intensified at all the entry and exit points of south Tamil Nadu.

He said the exercise was also to crack down on LTTE sympathisers and agents, who were reportedly operating in the southern districts and procuring goods for the banned outfit. Police have foiled many attempts by the LTTE agents to smuggle goods from the State recently.

The Q branch police were conducting door-to-door verification in the refugee camps to verify the inmates and identify new comers who had sneaked in without the knowledge of authorities. Though a routine exercise, it was intensified in the wake of the alarming increase in smuggling activities by LTTE agents, with the assistance of some refugees.

He said that in Madurai, around 6,000 Lankan Tamils were staying in refugee camps at Koodal Nagar, Thiruvathavur and Uchchapatti.

Besides, an estimated 160 registered Lankan families were staying independently. The police were keeping round-the-clock vigil in Madurai on their movement.

Local residents and commercial establishments have been advised to intimate the police about suspicious movement of strangers in their localities, he added.


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