Today's Paper

No LTTE threat, says Navy Chief

G. Narasimha Rao

ON BOARD INS AIRAVAT: There is no threat of infiltration or attacks against India by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Navy Chief Sureesh Mehta said on Tuesday.

Answering a question if the LTTE could resort to desperate retaliatory attacks on India after the death of its leader V. Prabakaran, Admiral Mehta said the LTTE had almost ceased to exist and never had the capacity to attack India. The Indian armed forces could handle any such attacks successfully.

(His statement came before Sri Lanka announced the death of Prabakaran).

The concern should be about the safety of civilian population and finding a political solution to the problem in Sri Lanka was the better option, he felt.

The aircraft carrier being built at the Kochi shipyard would be tested in waters next year.

It was expected to be fully operational by 2012 and the alternative naval base near Visakhapatnam would be fully operational in five to six years, the Navy Chief said.

Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command Nirmal Verma and Commanding Officer of INS Airavat Manish Sharma were present.

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