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'Maritime Security Adviser appointment soon'

india Updated: Oct 22, 2009 20:31 IST

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Defence Minister AK Antony on Thursday indicated that the government will soon create the post of Maritime Security Adviser (MSA) and advocated strengthening of marine police wing in all coastal states to prevent Mumbai-type terror attacks.

"We are moving in the right direction. I am personally monitoring it. So are the Cabinet Secretary and Home Ministry. All of us are jointly doing it," Antony said when asked about delays in appointing a MSA.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Navy Commanders Conference that kicked off here, Antony said Marine Police was a new concept and all the Coastal States should a separate marine police wing.

"All coastal states should strengthen the marine police. The Navy and Coast Guard will provide them training. It is a new force and they need all support," he said.

He pointed out that the Navy Commanders Conference had discussed the maritime security issues and the coordination among various seafaring departments and enforcement agencies.

On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's warning of a possible terror threat, the Defence Minister said the former got information from various sources on security challenges the nation faced and that his observation was based on those intelligence inputs.

Antony said the armed forces regularly reviewed their preparedness and the government had given support to strengthening the military whenever needed.

"Our armed forces are ever ready to meet challenges to national security. With regard to the Navy, they are now in the process of equipping themselves. They are in a better position now to meet the challenges (of coastal security)," he said, assuring that the Navy had made all arrangements to meet the challenges from any quarters.

The Navy Commanders, led by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma, will over the next four days review the coastal security issues in the backdrop of the 26/11 terror attacks, its procurement process and modernisation, apart from issues relating to personnel management and welfare.