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Lanka fallout: Vigil stepped up along TN coast

January 07, 2009 12:27 IST

Vigilance along the southern coast of Tamil Nadu has been stepped up by the state police in collaboration with other security agencies to prevent possible infiltration of LTTE [Images] cadres in the wake of the fall of the outfit's de facto capital Kilinochchi in Sri Lanka [Images].

Highly placed police sources ruled out any security threat to the state and said police and other agencies have been asked to be on "alert", step up vigilance and monitor the situation closely.

"Right now, there is no security threat to the state... however, we have asked the police and other agencies to be on alert and post more police personnel in the coastal areas such as Rameswaram, which are in close proximity to Sri Lanka," the sources told PTI.

Coast Guard officials confirmed that the agency had stepped up vigilance in the wake of the recent development.

"We have increased patrolling to ensure extra vigilance," a Coast Guard official said without elaborating.

 Even as it is widely believed that LTTE chief V Prabhakaran had been on the run with the Sri Lankan security forces intensified their offensives after capturing Kilinochchi last week, observers here said the outfit might still regroup.

 A former IB official, on condition of anonymity, said the recent blast at Colombo that killed three persons could be "diversionary tactics" by the banned organisation as the "force may resort to more such attacks" trying to regroup.

"The organisation could go into hibernation as part of the regrouping process even as its sleeper cells may get activated to carry out attacks," he said.

However, Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, a staunch critic of LTTE, dismissed the regrouping angle.

"There is international unanimity against the LTTE. No country would now help the organisation when the Sri Lankan army has made inroads into LTTE-held territories...however, there are little chances of Prabhakaran being caught alive or

extradited to India (for trial in Rajiv Gandhi [Images] assassination case)," Swamy said, claiming that Prabhakaran could commit suicide in the event of being held.

He could have been arrested when the IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force) was in Sri Lanka, he said.

 In the event of the elimination of the LTTE, the Sri Lankan government cannot go back on its assurances for devolution of powers to Tamil, Swamy said.

"Sri Lanka has made assurances to India and other countries in this regard and has to live up to its word," he said, adding "they have to share power (with the Tamils)."

The LTTE issue is expected to have some "repercussions" in the state politics ahead of the Lok Sabha elections as the alliance headed by ruling DMK has both LTTE supporters (VCK) and opponents (Congress). The Congress has already demanded the extradition of Prabhakaran.

The cadres of the two parties came to blows recently over the death of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and the LTTE issue.

Political observers say the LTTE could "try to mobilize good opinion" about them in the state through party leaders supporting them, even as the Congress, a key ally of DMK, would raise its voice demanding the arrest of pro-LTTE elements.

However, after a warning by Chief Minister M Karunanidhi that action would be taken against those supporting banned outfits, VCK had muted its pro-LTTE rhetoric as was evident in the party's Ealam Recognition Conference held last month.

MDMK chief Vaiko, who is in the AIADMK camp, had also been arrested in the past for pro-LTTE remarks.  

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