Navy commissions strategically important ‘INS Jatayu’ base in Lakshadweep | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Navy commissions strategically important ‘INS Jatayu’ base in Lakshadweep Islands

Mar 06, 2024 05:04 PM IST

INS Jatayu is the second naval base in Lakshadweep after INS Dweeprakshak in Kavaratti.

The Indian Navy on Wednesday commissioned its new base "INS Jatayu" at Minicoy in Lakshadweep islands, enhancing its operational capability and reach in the Indian Ocean region.

Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and Lakshadweep administrator Praful Patel during the
Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and Lakshadweep administrator Praful Patel during the

INS Jatayu is the second naval base in Lakshadweep after INS Dweeprakshak in Kavaratti. Minicoy is the southernmost island of Lakshadweep, 215 nautical miles southwest of Kochi.

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Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar commissioned the new base at a function held in Minicoy. Lakshadweep administrator Praful Patel, Southern Naval Command chief Vice Admiral V Srinivas and Western Naval Command chief Vice Admiral Sanjay J Singh were also present.

Jatayu has been commissioned under the command of Commandant Vrat Baghel, according to PTI.

Addressing a gathering on the occasion, Kumar said the unit was named after Jatayu – the mythical creature in the epic Ramayana who tried to stop the abduction of Sita.

Also Read | India to build naval bases in Agatti and Minicoy Islands

"In the Ramayana, Jatayu was the 'first responder', trying to stop the abduction of Sita ji, even to the peril of his own life, exemplifying service before self. So the naming of this unit as Jatayu is an apt recognition of this spirit of providing security surveillance and selfless service," Kumar was quoted as saying by PTI.

The navy chief added that the information relayed by Jatayu to Lord Ram provided crucial situational awareness.

"Similarly, we expect that this unit will provide situational awareness to the Indian Navy in maintaining good maritime domain awareness of the entire region. INS Baaz to the east in the Andamans and now the INS Jatayu in the west will serve as eyes and ears to the Navy to safeguard our national interest," he said.

Kumar further added that it was crucial to recognise the requirement for heightened surveillance amidst the prevailing geopolitical developments.

Also Read | India to push tourism infra in islands including Lakshadweep: FM in budget speech

"The Indian Ocean region is witnessing an upsurge in maritime terror, crime, and piracy. The Indian Navy has responded with an assertive posture in the west and north Arabian Sea, undertaking anti-drone, anti-missile, and anti-piracy operations to safeguard merchant traffic in the region," he said, according to PTI

Patel, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said that the approval for an airstrip at Minicoy is also in its final stages.

He also announced that a 24-hour operational chopper hanger at Kavaratti will start soon and that land has been allotted to set up a radar base in Lakshadweep for the Indian Air Force.

Naval Officer-in-Charge (Lakshadweep) Captain Lovekesh Thakur told PTI that the Minicoy island is on an important trade route, and having a base with enhanced surveillance capabilities is of great importance to the country.

"Because of the strategic location, specifically Minicoy, it is a place for gathering information on the shipping movement," Thakur told PTI.

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