June 5, 2019
Kochi: Uninhabited islets in Lakshadweep are under scanner of the Navy, Coast Guard and the coastal police after intelligence reports tipped off suspicious movement of IS (Islamic State) ultras close to Kerala coast.
The report said 15 IS terrorists were found sailing to Lakshadweep from Sri Lanka a few days back. They were aboard a white boat and were not connected with fishing or other activities. However, recent reports said the boat had fishermen from Tamil Nadu.
Local political leaders in the island are also engaged in creating awareness among the islanders as to what they should on spotting suspected ultras.
People have been asked to remain vigilant and inform the security agencies of sighting any strangers, Abdul Khader Haji of the BJP told The Covai Post from New Delhi.
Haji, who contested the Lok Sabha polls unsuccessfully, said the reports of suspected IS movement were known to all in the island.
He said the people in Lakshadweep were well connected through social media and had been asked to remain vigilant.
It was not possible for a stranger to enter the island and hide for long. The island had a low population and if any new person visited the island, locals would definitely come to know of it, he said.
Mosques were also educating people on dealing with strangers.
There were some islands which were not fit for habitation and could provide hiding place to the ultras.
But, that was also not possible as security agencies were making thorough screening of the region.
Separately, a top official at the coastal police said there had been no development in locating any one in connection with the report.
The coastal police was still on the job to find out if there were any one hiding in the region.
Surveillance was made strict at centres where fish are deposited as there are chances for the boats to be anchored there. Intelligence warning had come a few days ago, saying a group of men suspected as IS terrorists moved towards Lakshadweep. Following this, naval force and coastal security guards are on high alert on Kerala coasts and Lakshadweep island.
Intelligence agencies across the country were put on high alert after eight explosions in Sri Lanka in April 21 killed over 250 people on Easter.
Kerala is in the radar of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as it had unearthed a plot by an ISIS terrorist to carry out a suicide attack in the State.
Also, many people from the northern parts of the State were found to be active agents of the terror organisation.
Some of them were killed in the US attack against IS.
The other day Kerala DGP Loknath Behera held discussions with heads of different security agencies. IG G Lakshman is the state-level coordinator of security operations.