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Antony wants answers from Navy chief

Defence minister AK Antony sought an explanation from the navy chief, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, over the Navy's alleged lapses to act on specific intelligence inputs pertaining to the Mumbai terror strike.

delhi Updated: Dec 02, 2008 01:10 IST
HT Correspondent

Defence minister AK Antony on Monday sought an explanation from the navy chief, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, over the Navy's alleged lapses to act on specific intelligence inputs pertaining to the Mumbai terror strike.

The defence minister is upset over reports that the navy did not take sufficient measures to stave off terror threats despite prior intelligence inputs, ministry sources said.

At a meeting of the Congress Working Committee on Saturday night, Antony had reportedly offered to resign over the issue of the navy's accountability.

The navy finds itself in a spot with intelligence agencies claiming that it had been warned in advance that the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba is trying to push terrorists into Mumbai through the sea route.

Several reports have suggested that an intercept was sent to the navy and the Coast Guard on November 19, warning that a Lashkar-controlled ship with explosives could try to breach India's maritime border along the western coast.

A naval spokesperson, however, said no intercept had been passed on to the navy.

Navy sources said Admiral Mehta met the defence minister on Monday in connection with canceling the navy week celebrations as the entire country was grieving. It celebrates December 4 as Navy Day.