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Antony reviews security scenario

Special Correspondent
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First such exercise since Osama's killing last week

A.K. Antony
A.K. Antony

Defence Minister A.K. Anonty on Wednesday concluded a two-day comprehensive review of national security.

Mr. Antony, who returned to work this week after indisposition over the weekend that forced him the cancel a scheduled trip to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, reviewed the overall security situation with top military brass and senior officials of his Ministry.

Officials in the Ministry described the meeting as a routine periodic exercise. The review, however, assumes significance in the wake of the recent killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and subsequent sabre-rattling from across the border.

The Tuesday meeting focussed on coastal security, a dimension that acquired special meaning after the 2008 terror attack on Mumbai that came from sea. It was attended by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma; Director General of Coast Guard Vice Admiral Anil Chopra; Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar; and Secretary of Defence Production Raj Kumar Singh.

Sources in the Ministry said the first phase of coastal security plan had neared completion and discussion on the progress of the second phase was on. The plan included the setting up of Sagar Prahari Bal (Coastal Security Force), augmenting the strength of the Coast Guard with more aircraft, fast interceptor and patrol vessels and mechanised boats.

On Wednesday, Mr. Antony reviewed the overall national security along with the three Service chiefs, the Defence Secretary and National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon.


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