‘JeM’s underwater wing training men for attack’: Navy chief warns in Pune
Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Naval Staff, said that the Indian Navy has received intelligence that terror organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), responsible for the Pulwama attack in February, is training terrorists for an underwater attack.
However, he added that the Indian Navy is fully prepared to make sure there is no intrusion from the seas.
“We got intelligence that the Jaish-e-Mohammad’s underwater wing is training men. This is one of the changing forms of terrorism, but we are keeping a watch. We want to assure you that we will remain alert and all their misadventures will meet with failures,” said the navy chief, who took over the helm of the Indian Navy on May 31 this year.
Watch| Navy chief reveals intel of Jaish-e-Mohammad training ‘underwater wing’
The chief of naval staff was speaking on the sidelines of the General BC Joshi Memorial Lecture in Pune on Monday.
On increased focus on maritime security, the chief said, “The underwater wing of the JeM is training people how to conduct attacks from the water. After the 26/11 attacks in 2008, we set up a coastal security construct, which is doing very well. The navy is overall incharge of maritime security including, coastal security along with the coast guard, the marine police, state government and other stakeholders. We are doing our best to make sure there is no intrusion from the seas.”
Emphasising that the Indian Ocean has always been strategically significant, Admiral Singh said that the Indian Navy is also keeping a close watch on the movement of the Chinese navy in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). “We are watching the progress of the Chinese in IOR. Chinese want to become a global power and they can come into IOR, but we are keeping a watch and there should be nothing which is against our national interest. If there is a threat to our national interest, then we will act,” the navy chief said.
Admiral Karambir Singh delivered the General BC Joshi memorial Lecture on the topic of ‘Indian Ocean Region- Changing Dynamics - Maritime Security Imperatives for India’, which was organised by the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, Savitribai Phule Pune University at Dhanvantri Auditorium of Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune on Monday.
Lamenting that the naval budget has been reduced to 12%-13% from the earlier 18% (in 2012-13) of the defence budget, the navy chief said that long-term budgetary support is a must to build naval capacities and capabilities.
On being questioned if the formation of the chief of defence staff (CDS), as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15, will be beneficial in the future, the chief said, “CDS will be able to prioritise defence procurement and expenditure. Right now, becuase of our budgetary allocation, we have had to revamp our procurement plan and it has limited us to an extent. It takes five-10 years to build a ship and I need assured budgetary support for that, especially to build up our naval capabilities.”