Sunday, 23 February 2014 - 19:14
Andaman and Nicobar Islands a potential terror hub; A statement from the Indian Home Ministry.
The administration of the Indian Union Territory feels the islands of Andaman and Nicobar are potential terror hubs and said the possibility of LTTE cadres trying to make them a safe haven cannot be ruled out.
The administration has also conveyed to the government that foreigners from Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand and Sri Lanka often intrude into the archipelago.
The Home Ministry has told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs that according to the Union Territory Administration, Andaman and Nicobar Islands have settlers from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar and possibility of these settlers being used “by elements from their erstwhile countries” cannot be ruled out.
The UT government is of the view that left out LTTE cadres may look for safe havens in the near vicinity and may take advantage of our uninhabited islands for their temporary hideouts.
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are situated in the Bay of Bengal at a distance of 1200 km from the mainland.
The island authority has conveyed that the local Tamil population in the islands, like other parts of the country, is also sympathetic to the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils.
Further, sympathy of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, who were brought and settled in these islands during 1960s and 1970s, may be easily gained for abetting, aiding and assisting the LTTE outfit in providing temporary shelters under the thick forest covers in the islands.
The Standing Committee on Home Affairs has been informed that In fact the geographical locations and conditions make these islands an ideal place for providing safe havens for terrorist groups for jungle warfare training and even dumping grounds for arms and ammunition.