The Kerala Police issued an alert for the state’s coast based on an intelligence report that a boat carrying people affiliated to the Islamic State group had left Sri Lanka and was headed in the direction of Kochi, The Hindu reported on Sunday.
In a May 23 directive, Additional Director General of Police of Coastal Security Tomin Thachankary said the group had left the Sri Lankan coast under “mysterious circumstances”. The heads of 72 police stations along the state’s coastline have been ordered to increase their security and alert fisherfolk and residents to be vigilant.
The intelligence input, which said that there were 15 terrorists in the group, came from Sri Lanka, PTI reported.
Police personnel conducted searches at lodges and hotels in Thiruvananthapuram. The police department commandeered fishing boats in Vizhinjam to patrol the coast.
The state police said they have intimated the Coast Guard and Navy about the development and are awaiting an advisory from the National Investigation Agency.
In April, the National Investigation Agency had arrested a 29-year-old man with alleged links to the Islamic State group who was planning to carry out a suicide attack in Kerala. The man, Riyas A, is a resident of Palakkad, the agency said.
The suspect was arrested as part of the agency’s inquiry into the disappearance of 15 people in Kasargod in 2016. Over 20 people from Kasargod and Palakkad had gone missing in July 2016 and were feared to have joined the Islamic State group in Afghanistan and Syria.