Police on Thursday midnight launched a massive search operation across Tamil Nadu based on intelligence inputs that a Lashkar-e-Taiba group had entered the state. A high alert was sounded in Kerala too.
A senior officer said the intelligence input was specifically about Coimbatore. The alert, he said, sent to all city police commissioners and SPs around 11.30 pm on Thursday was that a group, including one Pakistani and five Sri Lankan Tamil Muslims, said to be disguised as Hindus, may carry out attacks.
Vital security installations and worship centres, tourist locations and foreign embassies were among the targets of the terrorist group, according to the intelligence input. Sources said the suspected targets included Sabarimala temple in Kerala, a shrine at Velankanni in Tamil Nadu, DSSC, Wellington, Ooty and Air Force station Coimbatore. The report said the cell could strike between August 28 and September 8.
Multiple sources in the police said a massive search operation was conducted in Tamil Nadu on Thursday. The Intelligence machinery in all districts, coastal areas was activated. Officers have been told to monitor movement of ferries and boats while unit officers of the intelligence wing have been told to sensitise fishermen. Kerala DGP Lokanath Behera has asked district police superintendents to maintain a vigil. Movement of vehicles and persons in bordering districts will be under close scrutiny. Security has been strengthened at public places, including railways stations and bus stands.
Reports mentioned that a 38-year-old man, hailing from Kodungallur in Kerala, was part of the group. He reportedly went to Bahrain last month. “Three days ago, he informed the family that he would reach home in three days,” said officials, who visited his family in Thrissur.
The suspect reportedly spent 18 years in Bahrain, where he ran a workshop. He returned home recently and ran a workshop at Aluva in Ernakulam Rural district, sources said.