Floating armouries risk 26/11-type attacks: Navy Chief DK Joshi

The Navy Chief’s comments come just a week after the nation observed the fifth anniversary of Mumbai attacks 2008.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Indian Navy chief Admiral DK Joshi has warned against the risk of unregulated private armed ships, saying they can lead to situations similar to 26/11 Mumbai attacks, besides facilitating terrorist infiltrations, reports said Tuesday.

The Navy Chief’s comments come just a week after the nation observed the fifth anniversary of Mumbai attacks 2008.

He was speaking to a press conference ahead of Navy Day that falls on Dec 4.

"Floating armoury is a matter of very serious concern. This is entirely unregulated... This has very serious security implications for us including the infiltration of terrorists", he said.

Joshi said that over 140 armed ships that were operating near Indian coasts, were a serious security threat for the nation.

When asked if unregulated floating armouries can cause a 26/11 attack, Joshi said, "If there are unregulated arms and ammunition on a vessel, the existence of weapons is not known as also where guards are transferring them and this could lead to such a situation on anybody`s soil".

Admiral DK Joshi’s comments assume significance as the 26/11 attacks accused Ajmal Kasab had confessed that to reach Mumbai coast, he along with 9 other LeT members had hijacked a private Indian fishing vessel named Kuber and killed all the Indian seamen except one, whom they killed later.

Later when they were approaching Mumbai coast, they abandoned the vessel and used the dinghy carried by them from Pakistan to reach Badhwar Park in south Mumbai coast.

Ahead of Navy Day, Admiral Joshi added that the coastal security situation has improved and the second phase of finetuning the mechanism is underway.

"We are constantly upgrading the infrastructure, and working towards augmentation of resources. A coastal security bill has also been drafted," Joshi said.

"The coastal security bill will further enhance multiple agency coordination and center-state coordination," he said.

The navy chief added that the second phase for enhancing coastal security will include establishment of additional radar stations and deployment of interceptors.

The revamp of India`s coastal security system started post the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

The gory attacks staged by the members of the militant outfit Laskar-e-Toiba on November 26, 2008 had claimed 167 lives.

With Agency Inputs