Central agencies question Lankan youth who swam to Dhanushkodi from Palk Strait

Central intelligence agencies and the elite ‘Q’ branch of the Tamil Nadu police are interrogating a 24-year-old Sri Lankan youth who swam to reach Dhanushkodi from Palk Strait on Sunday.

According to Tamil Nadu coastal police, Hassan Khan of Mannar district in Sri Lanka jumped into the sea at Palk Strait after the Sri Lankan navy fired at a boat illegally carrying him and five others to Indian shores. To dodge the bullets, he jumped into the water and swam to Dhanushkodi.

On reaching the shores of Ramanathapuram, the other passengers of the boat told the coastal police about Khan who had jumped into the sea. Coastal police on search found him in the sea and rescued him.

However, Central agencies are not clear on the actual motive of Khan and are questioning him. According to officers of the Tamil Nadu police, he had informed the officers that his parents lived in Puducherry and he had escaped to India to overcome the acute financial issues in the island nation.

The police and central agencies are verifying his statement and if found satisfactory, he would be lodged at the Mandapam rescue camp where 175 people who reached India after the crisis erupted in Sri Lanka are staying.

Police sources told IANS that with the LTTE trying to regroup, the agencies are skeptical of anyone who reaches Indian shores from Lanka and that if satisfactory answers are not provided, anyone who reaches Indian shores through illegal ferrying will be subjected to detailed interrogation.

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