March 1, 2021
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Bridging gap
Coastal patrolling and unmanned surveillance After the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai and the feverish efforts launched to close the gaps in the maritime security infrastructure, India has come a long way in ensuring that another such attack from the sea will be more difficult to execute. How synergetic will be the effort will only be known when the next crisis occurs and we have another round of blame game and accusations as happened after the recent Chinese intrusion in the Depsang area of south-eastern fringe of Jammu and Kashmir below the Daulat Beg Oldi outpost. Defence Minister AK Antony is doing well to see that whatever is planned by way of equipment, sensors and fast interceptor boats and radars is implemented as per schedule. The first phase is completed and the second should create the seamless inter linkages between the Indian Navy led maritime assets and the facilities created by the States with maritime boundaries along the 7500 km coastline. Since the time the new security arrangement has been set in place there have been glaring lapses like the failure to intercept pirates using a hijacked commercial vessel as a mothership for terrorist activities in the mid-Arabian Sea; Somalian pirates operating close to the Lakshadweep group of islands off the western coast of the Indian peninsula; the derelict ship floating unnoticed across the north Arabian Sea all the way from the Gulf and spilling oil in Mumbai; and the legal complications that a
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