Tamil Nadu Q branch Police, following the arrest and interrogation of a suspect in an illegal immigration racket, has found that more than 100 Sri Lankan nationals have reached the state through the Thoothukudi coast.
The suspect Starwin, who was interrogated by the elite Q branch of the Tamil Nadu Police, said that the people arrived in five batches to Thoothukudi from Sri Lanka and that the arrival was in country-made boats.
Most of those who have reached Tamil Nadu had moved on to Mangaluru in Karnataka to travel to another country. The arrival of a large number of Sri Lankan nationals has exposed the porous coastal belt of the country, specifically, Tamil Nadu as after the 26/11 Mumbai attack, the Coast Guard and other Indian agencies have stepped up vigil along the coast.
Starwin, who was arrested on Saturday, is considered as the main person instrumental in facilitating the illegal immigration of Tamil Sri Lankans into India through the Thoothukudi route.
It may be noted that Suresh Raj, a Sri Lankan national with Tamil origin was arrested at Aluva in Kerala after the Coast Guard and the NIA unearthed Rs 3,000 crore worth of drugs from a Sri Lankan vessel in the sea. Six Sri Lankan nationals were arrested and they were also carrying five AK 47 assault rifles and 90 bullets.
Suresh Raj was believed to be the pointsman for that deal and he has been living in Chennai and Kerala for the past several years with fake Indian ID cards.
The Coast Guard and Tamil Nadu Police have stepped up vigil in the sea as well as coastal towns and villages to prevent further entry of Sri Lankan Tamils into the country along the Tamil Nadu coastal line.
A senior officer with the state home department while speaking to IANS said, “The state police have stepped up vigil and those who have reached the country will be apprehended soon. The arrest of the main person is a major turning point and we will not allow the soil of the state to be used for any insurgent activities.”
It may be noted that the Tamil Nadu Q branch police had arrested 23 Sri Lankan nationals, including two Sinhalese from a vehicle body building unit at SIDCO industrial area in June 2021. The Sri Lankan nationals had paid heavy sums to two Tamil agents, Ashok Kumar and Kasiviswanathan on the promise that they would be provided lucrative jobs in Canada.
The Coast Guard and the Tamil Nadu Police have been assigned the task to step up vigil to prevent any untoward movement at night into the coast.