Heightened security in TN for I-Day after terror alert

Chennai: Heightened security arrangements were put in place across Tamilnadu ahead of the 74th Independence Day tomorrow.

More than one lakh police personnel have been deployed on security duty as part of security arrangements, police sources said.

In Chennai city, about 15,000 police personnel were deployed on security duty and to maintain strict vigil over the movement of anti-social elements.

Apart from the city police, 1,200 Central Security Force personnel and four companies of Rapid Action Force were also deployed as part of heightened security measures.

Apart from police personnel in uniform, those in plain clothes were also deployed on security duty. To prevent any intrusion via sea, the coastal security group has put in place elaborate security measures all along the coast.

Tamilnadu waas brought under security blanket after intelligence inputs warned of possible attacks by religious fundamentalists, targeting VIPs, vital installations.

Police said intelligence officials had warned that pan-Islamist terror outfits, particularly the Islamic State and the al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), were engaging gullible youth through online ‘jihadi’ propaganda and inciting them to launch lone-wolf attacks in their respective countries.

While reaching out to such youth and sympathisers through a secure online platform, the suspects were making efforts to recruit cadre in different States, including Tamilnadu, to carry out their agenda.

Specific inputs said some members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba were planning ‘fidayeen’ attacks on VIPs.

Other extremist organisations were also conspiring to target sensitive installations and areas of public gathering in a bid to disturb communal harmony, sources said.

A release from the Chennai Police Commissionerate said security was also tightened in all vantage points, including railway stations, bus depots, commercial establishment, amusement parks, Guindy Children’s Park, temples and places of worships with the deployment of additional forces.

Police have intensified checks in all lodges to ascertain whether any outsider was staying and also appealed to people to alert the police if they found someone moving under suspicious circumstances.

Apart from intensified round the clock patrolling, drone camers were also deployed to monitor the movement of anti-socials.

Barricades have been erected in various parts of the city as part of tightened security and also to intensify vehicle checks.

All the vehicles entering and leaving the city were subjected to thorough checks and those without e-pass, which was made mandatory to travel from one district to other in view of the lockdown to prevent spread of coronavirus, was denied entry.

A five-tier security arrangement has been put in place at the Chennai airport and the entry of visitors was banned till 30 August.

All the vehicles entering the airport were subjected to thorough checks and passengers with valid tickets alone were allowed entry after verifying their identities.

Though all passenger train services were cancelled in view of the lockdown, security was also tightened in important Railway stations as a precautionary measure.

Since the corona lockdown was in force, the Tamilnadu government has advised schools and college students and elederly people not to attend the I-Day celebrations at Fort St George in the city and in all district headquarters to prevent spread of coronavirus.

Live broadcast of the celebrations have been planned through TV channels and on radio and urged the people, students and elders to watch and hear them from their homes.