Hindu Munnani warned the nation that Islamic fundamentalists groups with support from foreign soil are targetting Tamil Nadu for their next terror attacks. “Central, state intelligence agencies and Coastal Guards should vary of their diabolical design. They should be alert to thwart their conspiracy” Hindu Munnani said in their press release.
Two days ago Coast Guard intercepted a boat in international waters with narcotics and arms hidden inside the vessel. Coast Guard spokesman told media persons that team officials onboard ICGS Vaibhav, based on a tip-off, spotted a Sri Lankan vessel “ Shenaya Duwa” on the high sea transferring heroin worth 500 crore in the international market. Our team intercepted the boat and asked them to surrender. On checking the boat they found a total of 99 packets of heroin, 20 small boxes of synthetic drugs, five 9mm pistols and Thuraya satellite phone set were found in the fuel tank on board. They also found various narcotic drugs in 20 boxes concealed at different places in the boat. After seizing the drug, arms, our team brought the boat along with its crew to the shore for interrogation. ”. Some say the quantity of seized drugs is more. Sources said this has been going on for a long time. They cited in October 2013, the authorities arrested 33 crew members of a US firm owned ship on charges of illegally carrying arms and ammunition and straying into Indian territorial waters without authorization. Like Rameswaram, Thoothukudi port is also close to Sri Lanka. From this port, consignments like salt, textile, herbal and agricultural goods are being shipped. So it gives a lot of chances of misuse for anti-social elements.
During the initial questioning, the six crew members of the boat said they were transferring the drugs into the Sri Lankan vessel “ Shenaya Duwa” on the high sea from a Pakistani dhow. It is found that the boat is allegedly owned by Alensu Kuttige Sinha Deeptha Sani Fernando from Negombo, a city on the west coast of Sri Lanka. Interestingly all the arrested six are from Sri Lanka.
The seizure of drug cargo, it is learnt, was part of a nine-day operation by multiple agencies started on 17th of this month. Sources said “The anti-smuggling operation went on despite rough conditions with Indian Coast Guard Ship Vaibhav, Vikram, Samar, Abhinav and Aadesh along with a Coast Guard Dornier aircraft. Six persons were arrested and taken to the Thoothukudi Port for interrogation. They are being interrogated by Coast Guard, Intelligence Bureau, RAW and Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) officials. During the interrogation, it came to light that the drug was meant to be sent to western countries and Australia and the dhow was from Karachi. They are trying to find out the potential recipients of the drug in Tamil Nadu and also the supplier from Pakistan. It is alleged that the banned LTTE was behind this operation.
Another source said it was due to alert message from Sriharikota space research centre in Andhra Pradesh to Indian Coast guard about the signals received from this satellite phone. It is easy to track signals from Satellite phones as they are banned in Bharath. The cost of the prepaid satellite phone, a Thuraya model, is valued at Rs. 2.5 lakhs. The phone was manufactured in Dubai.
The NCB has embarked on a mission to dismantle the international drug supply chains used by drug traffickers. Bharat is sandwiched between the Golden Crescent on the northwestern frontier and Golden Triangle on the northeastern frontier. The Golden Crescent regions of south Asia included Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran is a principal global site for opium production and distribution. The Gold Triangle comprising Thailand, Laos and Myanmar is one of the largest opium-producing areas of the world since the 1950s. Some media reports said the boat is of Pakistan origin. Coast guard officials are divided on this. While one section said it is Pakistan based vessel, others claim that it is owned by a Sri Lankan. “If they intercepted a vessel transferring consignments to the seized Sri Lankan vessel, what happened to the other vessel that brought goods from Karachi” points out a journalist. The boat was intercepted 10 nautical miles off Kanyakumari on the 25th evening. Sources said the arrested persons will be air-lifted to Chennai for further interrogation.
Reacting to this and the busting of a Popular Front of India arms training in Periyapattanam in Ramanathapuram, Hindu Munnani state vice president VP Jayakunmar told the author that what intriguing them was the seizure of arms and drug consignment. “The crews of the boat are only carriers and they did not know anything about the consignor and consignee. Their job is to ferry them for cash and kind. He told this author that they have definite information about these consignments. We should remember the Church bomb blast two years back. The recent happenings in Tamil Nadu especially after the busting of an arms training centre ran by PFI and this boat with revolvers made us worry. Their next target could be either Tamil Nadu or Sri Lanka. We got to know that both Bharath and Sri Lankan government are sharing intelligence outputs and about possible terror attack by Muslim fundamentalist groups with help either from Pakistan or Afghanistan, Iran”.
He further said “12 years ago the same day, ten Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists from Pakistan arrived by sea route and opened fire killing 166 people including 18 security personnel, leaving several hundred injured during the 60-hour siege. This is still fresh in our memories.
The same day in Thoouthukudi Coast Guard confiscated a boat with contraband including drugs, synthetic narcotic drugs, revolvers allegedly meant for Sri Lanka”.
A couple of days ago, in Ramanathapuram, police arrested some persons involved in training defying the Covid 19 rules. Jayakumar elaborated “We have information that in that arm training camp, over 130 persons took part but police said only 32. The training camp was conducted without the knowledge of the police. Our late leader Ramagopalan ji was telling us that Islamic terrorists could attack coastal regions of Tamil Nadu. He has been urging both the state and Centre intelligence to be wary of their design and take appropriate steps to avert them. He had warned this even before the Mumbai 2008 terror attack. His prophecy has come true. Last January, Kaliyakkavilai check post in Kanyakumari district bordering Kerala a Special branch Inspector Wilson was shot dead by two terrorists. NIA arrested a lot of terrorists from TN. It has become safe soil for terrorists like Kerala. Police and intelligence authorities should closely monitor the people who come to meet the prisoners and who help them in facing the court cases and investigation. We appeal to state and Central intelligence agencies, Indian Coast Guard to be vigilant without any let-up and if needed take stern action to ensure the safety of the State”