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Intel men keep an eye on coasts after Sri Lanka expels foreigners

Indian agencies fear those with radical links and who evaded Lankan agencies, would prefer to sneak in through coastal region or the porous Nepal-India border.

Published: 08th May 2019 04:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th May 2019 04:53 AM   |  A+A-

Encounter breaks out between militants, security forces in Jammu and Kashmir

Image used for representational purposes. (File Photo | Express)

Express News Service

KOCHI: Intelligence agencies and Bureau of Immigration (BoI) have sounded an alert as they continue to be clueless about the number and identity of Indians among the 600 foreigners Sri Lanka decided to deport following the Easter Sunday serial bomb blasts.

The expelled Indians, whose presence the officers have confirmed to Express, normally reach the legal entry points, but agencies fear those with radical links and have evaded Sri Lankan agencies, would prefer to sneak in through the coastal region extending from Karnataka to Orissa or the porous Nepal-India border. Sri Lanka has not so far publicised nationalities of the expelled which include more than 200 clerics, but many of them are reportedly from India, Bangladesh, Maldives and Pakistan.

“Officers of the Indian agencies in Lanka are coordinating with that country’s government to extract details of the Indian clerics who had been in Sri Lanka before the blasts,” said an Intelligence Bureau officer. A senior officer with the state intelligence said BoI would be able to identify the expelled Indians only if the MEA get details from the Lankan government and their passports have a remark about it.

More under scanner

The agencies have already zeroed in on a few clerics and preachers who frequented Sri Lanka in recent years. As a few religious organisations in Tamil Nadu have a history of sending preachers to the island nation, the NIA has collected the details of those belonging to Jamiat ul Quran al Hadith. “The possibility of those radicals reaching India by boats is high, mainly along the Tamil Nadu coast. Community leaders should come forward to support the intelligence agencies in providing inputs on those who are into radical activities. Above all, Sri Lanka should be more transparent in publicising the details of radical elements who have been to Sri Lanka from India,” said Kabir Taneja, associate fellow of Observer Research Foundation, which is into research on terrorism, non-state militant actors and general security paradigm of the region.

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