Maritime Security Adviser plans in right direction: Antony

Last Updated: Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 19:16

New Delhi: Indicating that the government
was positive on having a Maritime Security Adviser (MSA),
Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday sought a proactive role for
the Navy in maintaining a strong coastal security apparatus
and achieving jointness among all sea-faring and enforcement
agencies to prevent a Mumbai-type terror attack.

"We are moving in the right direction (on having a
MSA). I am personally monitoring it. So are the Cabinet
Secretary and Home Ministry. All of us are jointly doing it,"
Antony told reporters on the sidelines of the Navy Commanders
Conference here.
Earlier, inaugurating the conference, Antony said last
year`s terror attacks on Mumbai were "grim reminders of the
mischief that can be perpetrated by the sea-route" and noted
that the government had initiated numerous measures to enhance
coastal security.

"The Navy, assisted by the Coast Guard and other
stakeholders in the maritime domain are playing a proactive
role to bring about synergy and establish Standard Operating
Procedures in coordination with the state governments and
other stakeholders," he said.

Listing anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden as
a focus area for the Navy, the Defence Minister said the issue
had become "a matter of concern" for international shipping
traffic, even as he complimented the Navy for its bold,
affirmative action in deterring piracy attempts.

On the terror threat through the sea-route, Antony
said the Navy had conducted exercises with the active
involvement of all concerned agencies to carry out a
vulnerability assessment and stressed the need for sustaining
the effort.

To reporters` query on the marine police, he said the
concept was new, but emphasised the need for all coastal
states to have a separate marine police wing.
"All coastal states should strengthen the marine
police. The Navy and Coast Guard will provide them training.
It is a new force and they need all support," he said.

On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s warning of a
possible terror threat, the Defence Minister said the former
got information from various sources on security challenges
the nation faced and that his observation was based on those
intelligence inputs.

Antony said the armed forces regularly reviewed their
preparedness and the government had given support to
strengthening the military whenever needed.

"Our armed forces are ever ready to meet challenges to
national security. With regard to the Navy, they are now in
the process of equipping themselves. They are in a better
position now to meet the challenges (of coastal security)," he
said, assuring that the Navy had made all arrangements to meet
the challenges from any quarters.

Speaking to reporters in Bangalore, Karnataka Home
Minister V S Acharya said about two to three `Love Jihad`
incidents had come to the government`s notice and "it looks
serious".

He said Karnataka had written to Kerala drawing its
attention towards "love jihad movement" as it had inter-state
ramifications.

The Karnataka High Court during a hearing on a habeas
corpus petition filed by the parents of a girl, who allegedly
married a Muslim boy after converting to Islam in Kerala`s
Mallapuram district, yesterday directed Karnataka and Kerala
to jointly probe the issue.

The girl`s father had alleged in his petition that she
was confined in a madrasa after the marriage.

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, October 22, 2009 - 19:16

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