Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh on Monday cited intelligence reports to claim that terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) is training its members to carry out underwater attacks, but assured that his force is fully prepared to face any such eventuality. "We have received intelligence that the underwater wing of Jaish-e-Mohammed is being trained for attacks. We are keeping track of it and can give an assurance that we are fully alert to foil any such design," news agency ANI quoted Admiral Singh as telling reporters in Pune.
He declared that coastal security was enhanced after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and is capable of rebuffing any enemy attack. "It's doing very well. As the Navy is the overall in-charge of maritime security -- including coastal security along with the coast guard, the marine police and other stakeholders -- we are sparing no effort to ensure zero intrusion from the seas," the Navy chief said.
While the JeM orchestrated the Pulwama terror attack that killed 42 CRPF soldiers in February and escalated tensions between India and Pakistan, the Mumbai attacks were carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists who sneaked into Mumbai by boat and launched a series of attacks that resulted in over 160 deaths on November 26, 2008.
However, Admiral Singh admitted that the cut in budgetary allocation to the Indian Navy had "limited" it to some extent. "Yes, we have had to revamp our procurement plan," ANI quoted him as saying.
The Navy Chief also said that his force has been keeping an eye on Chinese movement in the Indian Ocean Region. "The Chinese want to become a global power, and so they will come into the Indian Ocean Region. We are watching them. National interests is the topmost priority for us. We will act when anything goes against national interests," he said.
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a lecture titled "Changing Dynamic: Maritime Security Imperatives for India", which was part of a series held in the memory of late Army Chief General BC Joshi.
The Indian Navy, in the meantime, is ehancing its underwater capabilities in view of external threats. Admiral Singh had earlier announced that India's second Kalvari-class Scorpene submarine may be commissioned into service in the coming months.
(With inputs from ANI)