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'India upgrading coastal security to face LTTE threats'
January 14, 2008 13:54 IST
India is planning to revamp and upgrade its Coastal Security Scheme to prevent infiltration by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a media report said in Colombo on Monday.
India's security authorities have urged the (Indian) government to revamp coastal security mechanisms in the wake of the escalation of fighting between Security Forces and the LTTE, state-owned Daily News reported.
The fleeing tigers could be trying to enter India by sea and its sympathisers could be attempting to smuggle weapons to the Sri Lanka's [Images] North, the newspaper quoted the Indian security authorities as telling the Centre.
Indian security agencies want to check the smuggling of explosives and contraband by terrorist outfits.
Terrorists have been using gaps in India's coastline that connect it to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Maldives, all of which have seen rising terrorist activities, the news report quoted Indian defence sources as saying.
India's maritime boundaries have also become a haven for insurgents to infiltrate and smuggle in arms and explosives, the sources claimed.
Since March 2006, when the Indian Coastal Security Scheme was launched and approved for implementation in five years, 47 out of 73 coastal police stations have been made operational, according to officials in India.
Indian government has also approved an outlay of over $8 million (Rs 330 crore) for setting up the coastal police stations and equipping them with vessels, vehicles and other facilities, according to reports.
The coastal police stations in India will be equipped with 204 boats, 149 jeeps, 312 motorcycles for increasing mobility of the police personnel on the coasts and coastal waters once the comprehensive review is completed, according to Indian officials.
The scheme was reviewed at a high-level meeting, presided over by Indian Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta in New Delhi recently.