The Centre has decided to set up a Coastal Command by integrating the functions of the Navy and Coast Guard, to combat possible terrorist attacks from the sea, in light of the recent Mumbai terror attacks, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said in Kollam on Monday.
The Navy would look after the security of blue waters, the Coast Guard would take the territorial waters and the coastal police would keep vigil at the grassroot level, he said, while inaugurating Kerala’s first Coastal Police Station at Neendakara near in Kollam.
The decision on setting up the Coastal Command would be taken in a few days, he said.
The Mumbai terrorist attack had brought to light the fact that India was vulnerable to dangers from the sea. For long, the security agencies had been concentrating on land borders against enemy attack. To counter the sea threat and ensure integrated security, the Centre had ambitious plans and the Coastal Command was part of it, he said.
The places identified to set up Coastal police stations are Vizhinjam, Fort Kochi, Thottapally, Azheekkal, Beypore, Kodungallur and Bakel, covering the long stretch of the state’s coastline.
Chidambaram said the country was facing various intense security problems, including insurgency in the North East, Naxalite and terrorism issues.
"Of late, terrorism has attained religious overtones. But we will not discriminate between Islamic terrorism or Hindu terrorism. Terrorism is terrorism. There is no religion for terrorism," he said.
Chidambaram said the Centre would not tolerate any kind of terrorism since there was "no place for it in a democracy".
Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that apart from the eight coastal police stations announced across the state, one more would be set up in Malappuram district soon.
Later, Chidambaram had talks with Balakrishnan and senior police officers on the security situation in the state.