A parliamentary panel has cautioned the government and security agencies about possible use of uninhabited islands in seas being used as safe haven by terrorists.
In its report, the parliamentary standing committee on home affairs said that terrorist may use new modus operandi and unconventional methods to launch terror strikes in India by using the uninhabited islands.
In its submission, the home ministry said that threats from terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba to India’s coastal security have been shared with agencies concerned from time-to-time.
Inputs such as poaching by Myanmmar fishermen and Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmmar by sea and its likely impact on the security of Andaman and Nicobar Islands have also been shared.
The committee mentioned that marine police should be watchful in thwarting any incursions by foreigners in any island.
The home ministry has informed the panel about the three tier coastal security ring provided by marine police, Coast Guard and the Indian Navy.
It has also mentioned a number of measures, including deployment of ships and aircraft for patrolling.
The home ministry conveyed that a chain of radars and a network of Automatic Identification System covering the country’s coastline is being operationalised for round the clock surveillance.
The parliamentary committee said despite 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, 187 minor ports in the country still lack standard security cover.
The committee strongly recommended that regular security audit should be carried out at minor ports along with major ports.
In its submission, the home ministry said the security audit conducted through Intelligence Bureau has revealed that out of 203 non-major and minor ports, 45 were non-operational, while 75 have no security force even for name sake.
However, many of these ports though non-operational but were being used as fish landing points or jetties.
The home ministry said that as per security audit, there were several shortcomings in the existing security arrangements like non-availability of X-ray machine, non- maintenance of incoming and outgoing communication etc.