Monday, April 20, 2009

Security tightened on K’taka border

Ajay KanthFirst Published : 20 Apr 2009 02:07:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 20 Apr 2009 12:25:35 PM IST

KOCHI: Security has been tightened on the borders of the state with reports of reinvigorated movement of top Naxal leaders from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Jharkand who are plotting to thwart the second phase of polling.

The second phase of polling in the states is scheduled on April 23.

Sources in the police department said they had intensified patrolling and checking of vehicles at Talapadi and Manjeswaram on the Kerala- Karnataka border. “Intelligence inputs suggest that a group of Naxalite leaders had fled from Andhra Pradesh after planning attacks during the polls,” sources said.

They said that it was suspected that these extremists might head for a hideout in the state.

“The overall security in the state has been relaxed with the competition of elections in Kerala. The extremists will capitalise on it and try to scout for hide-outs to go underground for quite a long time,” the sources said.

Following strict directives from the Election Commission of India (ECI ), the Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh police had already launched a joint operation to check the flow of people from the neighbouring states.

Kerala Director General of Police (DGP) Jacob Punnoose said that the state police had tightened monitoring of the borders after getting strict directions from the ECI.

“At the time of elections, we have been on high alert to check any infiltration through the borders of the state. The neighbouring states have tightened their borders as they are getting ready for the second phase of polls “ he said.

On reports of Naxal-agents scouting provisions from the state to feed their units in Andhra Pradesh and Jharkand, the officer said that there was no such possibility as the cost of essential commodities and provisions were high in the state compared to Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

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