'Commodore's link with Russian woman confirmed' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Commodore's link with Russian woman confirmed'

delhi Updated: Apr 17, 2010 01:00 IST
HT Correspondent

A navy probe has found that a senior officer, formerly associated with the aircraft carrier Gorshkov project, had a relationship with a Russian woman, Defence Minister A K Antony said on Friday.

But it is yet to be ascertained if Commodore Sukhjinder Singh's personal liaisons influenced his professional conduct.

The commodore was one of the officers overseeing the aircraft carrier Gorshkov project, beset with huge time and cost overruns, when he was posted in Russia in 2005-07.

Antony said, "The navy has completed one part of its investigations and they have just started the second part. This particular man had some relations with the other side... a lady. Nothing beyond that has been proved so far. Let the navy complete the investigation."

Antony has asked the navy to speed up the probe.

India had contracted the 45,000-tonne Gorshkov for $974 million (Rs 4,870 crore), but the cost of the second-hand carrier has spiralled to $2.33 billion (Rs 11,650 crore). Originally slated to be delivered in 2008-end, the carrier is unlikely to enter the navy's fleet before 2012.

Antony said, "As soon as the investigation is complete, we will take a decision. I do not want to jump to conclusions."
The navy ordered an inquiry after finding photographs of Singh with the woman.

Cyber alert
A K Antony on Friday asked military commanders to prepare against cyber attacks amid concerns triggered by Chinese hackers accessing classified Indian websites.

Without referring to China, the minister said a few recent cases were reminders of India's vulnerabilities He asked the armed forces to work with cyber agencies to prepare a crisis management action plan.

"Of late, extraordinary and unprecedented cyber crimes have taken place across the globe, exposing gaping holes in cyber security systems. Although defence services have taken steps to counter cyber threats through stringent implementation of cyber security policy, there is still a requirement to ensure that all loopholes are plugged."