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Naval force patrolling efforts result into zero piracy in coastal areas

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Mumbai: The Indian Navy has reported zero piracy in 2015 due to dedicated patrolling and led to savings worth over Rs.23,000 crore for the Indian shipping industry, a top naval officer said here on Thursday.

The Indian Navy continues its operations in the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea and so far safely escorted more than 3,000 ships through the pirate-infested areas and foiled 46 hijack attempts on the high seas, said Vice Admiral S.P.S. Cheema, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command.

These actions have resulted in the line demarcating High Risk Area being shifted westwards by 780 nautical miles away from the Indian coast (from 78 degrees East Longitude to 65 degrees East) resulting in the huge savings for the Indian maritime industry.

Vice Admiral Cheema was addressing the media on the occasion of Navy Day on Friday, to commemorate the Indian Navy’s paralyzing attack on Karachi harbor on December 4, 1971 which ultimately led to the Indian victory and liberation of Bangladesh.

He pointed out that the Indian economy was on an upswing and grew at 7.4 percent in the last quarter of the current fiscal.

The economy is directly linked to the growth in trade and majority of India’s voluminous trade uses the sea route for imports and exports.

The Middle-East was crucial for India’s crude oil imports and the Indian Navy ensures that the seaborne trade is safe at all times to ensure the country’s economic growth and prosperity, Vice-Admiral Cheema said.

Given India’s strategic location in the Indian Ocean with eight major shipping lanes and presence of a large number of foreign warships, there is a continuous need to monitor more than 100,000 ships which sail through the waters along the Indian coasts every year.

If this trade were to be disrupted for any reason, it would not only be India, but also the world economy that would have to bear the impact,

Besides monitoring the seawaters, the Indian Navy is also geared up to prevent any future 26/11 type of attacks, expanding and modernizing, engaged in international humanitarian services as part of its activities in the region.

The Navy is currently gearing up to host the International Fleet Review 2016 at Visakhapatnam, from February 4-9 with the theme ‘United through Oceans’, including the President’s review of the multi-national fleet on February 6.

While 87 navies worldwide have been invited, more than 50 have already confirmed participation, and the Western Naval Command will be represented by 12 ships including the two aircraft carriers, Vice-Admiral Cheema said.

(Inputs from IANS)

(Picture Courtesy:-entrance-exam.net)

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After a Decade, India Remembers The Terrorist Attack On Mumbai

Businessman Dilip Mehta took counseling for months after he faced the prospect of falling victim to a terrorists bullet at Taj Mahal hotel.

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Mumbai Terror Attack
A man walks past a wall riddled with bullet holes opposite to the Nariman House, one of the targets of the November 26, 2008 attacks, after the renaming ceremony of Nariman House as Nariman Light House in Mumbai, India. VOA

A decade after 10 Islamic terrorists laid a three-day siege to India’s financial capital, Mumbai, and killed 166 people, businessman Dilip Mehta recalls the horror of the nine hours that he was holed up in a banquet hall in a luxury hotel, wondering when the gunmen would storm inside.

“I do feel traumatized when I hear of any kind of terrorist activities in the world,” said Mehta, who was eventually evacuated via a fire exit.

From the mark it left on survivors and the families of the victims to the deep blow it struck to ties between India and Pakistan, the scars of the coordinated attacks that began on November 26th in 2008 still run deep.

26/11 Mumbai Attack
A reporter talks on her phone as smoke is seen coming from Taj Hotel in Mumbai, November 27, 2008, where terrorists were holding hostages during an attack that began the previous day. VOA

Solemn memorial services were held in the city for the victims as India marked the 10th anniversary of the attacks, in which the heavily armed gunmen stormed multiple targets.Mumbai’s police paid homage to more than a dozen officers and commandos killed in the operation against the militants.Two luxury hotels held private services while a Jewish Center, which was also attacked, unveiled a new memorial to all those who died in the assault.

“Our solidarity with the bereaved families.A grateful nation bows to our brave police and security forces who valiantly fought the terrorists during the Mumbai attacks,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter.

The foreign ministry said it is a matter of “deep anguish” the victims of the attack who belonged to 15 countries “still await closure with Pakistan showing little sincerity in bringing perpetrators to justice.The planners of 26/11 still roam the streets of Pakistan with impunity.”

New Delhi says the attack was masterminded by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and frequently slammed Islamabad for not taking action against the man who founded the group, Hafiz Saeed. Saeed, who has been designated as a terrorist by the United Nations, has denied involvement and Pakistan says India has not produced enough evidence against him.

Mumbai Terror Attack
FILE – People hold a candlelight vigil for the victims of a terrorist attack, in Mumbai, India, Nov. 29, 2008. The attack took a total of 160 lives. VOA

Announcing a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to arrests or convictions of those involved in the 2008 Mumbai attack, the United States also said that it was an affront to the families of the victims that those who planned the attack had not been convicted.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on “all countries, particularly Pakistan to uphold their U.N. Security Council obligations to implement sanctions against the terrorists responsible for this atrocity, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and its affiliates.”

Nine of the 10 gunmen who mounted the attack were killed, one was captured.He has been convicted and hanged.

According to Harsh Pant at New Delhi’s Observer Research Foundation, the 2008 Mumbai attacks continue to cast a shadow on India-Pakistan relations.“When you talk of rapproachment with Pakistan, when you talk of talks with Pakistan, the stakeholders are very limited,” he said.”The question comes: why have we failed in bringing those who perpetrated these acts to book?”

Mumbai Terror Attack
Flames engulf the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, on November 27, 2008, VOA

While Mumbai had suffered terror attacks prior to those in 2008, the strikes were the most audacious.The three-day siege put the spotlight on India’s weak coastal security – the 10 terrorists sneaked into the city on a fishing vessel.

Since then, maritime security has been strengthened and coastal police stations have been set up.On the eve of the anniversary, police officials said the city is better prepared to counter terrorist threats.

Also Read: By 2030, Over 98 Mn Indians Will Have Diabetes, Lancet Study Revealed

“I can assure Mumbaikars that the city is safe and police are capable of protecting you from any eventuality,” Mumbai Police Commissioner Subodh Kumar Jaiswal said.

Businessman Dilip Mehta took counseling for months after he faced the prospect of falling victim to a terrorists bullet at Taj Mahal hotel, where for about 60 hours, the gunmen shot dead guests and hotel staff.His life took a 360 degree turn after the attack, but he says he does feel more secure.“Now with whatever precautions and measures which have been taken, I feel quite safe in Bombay,” he said. (VOA)

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20 Amazing Facts About Indian Navy That Everyone Should Know

Indian Navy is also known by the name of Bharatiya Nau Sena. The naval persons are no less than the superheroes.

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The roots of Indian Navy can be traced back to the 17th-century. Wikimedia Commons
The roots of Indian Navy can be traced back to the 17th-century. Wikimedia Commons

NEW DELHI: India is the seventh-largest country in the world and owns the coastline of 7,516.6 km. Here comes the role of the Indian navy, which is responsible for safeguarding and securing such an enormous coastal area. Navy always holds a very strategic role in a country like India.

Indian navy is a prodigious name in itself and budding force to reckon with. Indian Navy is the naval branch of the armed forces of India and works along with the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army. It is the fifth largest Navy and is considered as one of the strongest navies around the world. The headquarters of Navy is located in New Delhi.

Indian Navy is also known by the name of Bharatiya Nau Sena. The naval persons are no less than the superheroes. Their constant will to serve the nation and sheer dedication are commendable.

The current flag of Indian Navy incorporates St. George’s Cross design, a part of the Union Jack. Wikimedia Commons
The current flag of Indian Navy incorporates St. George’s Cross design, a part of the Union Jack. Wikimedia CommonsThe current flag of Indian Navy incorporates St. George’s Cross design, a part of the Union Jack. Wikimedia Commons

Indian Navy Day is celebrated on 4 December and the motto of the naval force is ‘Sham No Varunaḥ’, which means “may the Lord of the water be auspicious unto us”. The current flag of Indian Navy incorporates St. George’s Cross design, a part of the Union Jack.

The roots of Indian Navy can be traced back to the 17th-century. Initially, British East India Company established the naval fleet in India, under the name of East India Company’s Marine in 1612. Later on, it was renamed as Royal Indian Navy but soon after the independence, Royal Indian Navy became Indian Navy.

Here are 20 interesting facts about our naval superheroes of the seas that defend our coastal areas.

  1. Indian Navy is headed by the Chief of Naval Staff. Other high ranks in Navy include Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Personnel etc.
  2. India’s first aircraft carrier was INS Vikrant. INS Viraat of the Indian navy is the largest aircraft carrier in India.
  3. Ezhimala Naval Academy in Kerala is the largest naval academy in the whole of Asia.

    MARCOS is the special operation unit of the Indian Navy. Wikimedia Commons
    MARCOS is the special operation unit of the Indian Navy. Wikimedia Commons
  4. Indian navy holds the distinction of one of the only two naval aerobatic teams in the world. The name of the aerobatic demonstration team is Sagar Pawan which uses 4 HJT-16 Kiran Mk.2 trainer aircrafts. The colour scheme used by the naval aircrafts is dark blue on white. The other aerobatic demonstration team is Blue Angels of the US Navy.
  5. After the terrorist attack of 26/11, Indian Navy came up with patrolling units known as Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB) to keep a check on India’s coastal waters.
  6. The crucial naval bases of Indian Navy are located in Mumbai, Kochi, Visakhapatnam, Goa, Chennai, Pune, Coimbatore, Chilka and Port Blair.
  7. The Navy works under three commands: Western Command in Mumbai, Eastern Command in Vishakhapatnam and Southern Command in Cochin. All these commands are headed by a Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief.
  8. MARCOS or Marine Commandos are the special operations unit of Indian navy like the Para unit of Army. It is one of the most distinguished and efficient special forces in the world. The force is acknowledged ‘Dadiwala fauj‘ by the various terrorist groups, due to as known by their bearded disguises in civil areas. The dropout rate is about 90 percent, which makes it really difficult to make the cut.

    Ezhimala Naval Academy in Kerala is the largest naval academy in the whole of Asia. Wikimedia Commons
    Ezhimala Naval Academy in Kerala is the largest naval academy in the whole of Asia. Wikimedia Commons
  9. The 1971 Indo-Pakistani war is considered as the largest naval conflicts since the Second World War. During the combat, Navy successfully targeted many enemy ships and destroy the oil tank farms by using anti-ship cruise missiles.
  10. During the Britsh rule in 1946, 20,000 Indian sailors rebelled against the British policies of discrimination and trial of ex-INA soldiers. But unfortunately, the mutiny was suppressed due to inadequate support from the INC and Muslim League.
  11. The naval variant of BrahMos missile is the fastest cruise missile in the world. The missile can zoom at a speed of Mach 2.8 – 3.0. This capability makes India the only country with supersonic cruise missiles in all of their defense forces.
  12. Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhosale is considered as the Father of Indian Navy. Chhatrapati built a strong naval presence across the coast of Konkan and Goa to protect sea trade.
  13. Indian Navy has a dedicated multi-brand communication satellite called GSAT – 7. It was launched by ISRO to help Indian Navy in acquiring the blue water capabilities in a much better way.

    Indian Navy has a dedicated multi-brand communication satellite called GSAT – 7. Wikimedia Commons
    Indian Navy has a dedicated multi-brand communication satellite called GSAT – 7. Wikimedia Commons
  14. The Naval soldiers of the Indian Navy have successfully completed an expedition to the North Pole and the South Pole.
  15. Indian Navy was the first navy in the world to send a submariner to an expedition to Mt. Everest. The expedition was led by Lt. Cdr. M.S. Kohli in 1965.
  16. The first independent operation of the Indian Navy’s was against Portuguese Navy during the liberation of Goa in 1961.
  17. The first Chief of Staff of the Indian Navy was Vice Admiral Ram Dass Katari who assumed the office on April 22, 1958.
  18. Indian Navy played a decisive role in the success of Kargil War. However, this information was kept under wraps for a long time. Personals from the MARCOS unit fought alongside Indian army in the Himalayas under the naval operation, Talwar.
  19. INS Arihant is the first ballistic missile submarine to have been built by a country other than the five permanent members of the UNSC. It is a 6,000-tonne vessel and India’s only nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine.
  20. All the ships of Indian Navy are prefixed with INS which means Indian Naval Ship or Indian Navy Station.
There are 11 destroyers deployed by the Indian Navy. Wikimedia Commons
There are 11 destroyers deployed by the Indian Navy. Wikimedia Commons

Indian Navy keeps itself abreast of any adversity by striking a balance between its warships, aircrafts and patrol vessels. The current operational fleet of the Indian navy consists of 1 aircraft carrier, 11 destroyers, 14 frigates, 24 corvettes and 16 submarines. Aiming high on ‘Make in India’ program, most Navy ships and submarines are now manufactured indigenously.

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Sushma Swaraj meets with Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife

Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April, following which India moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May. 

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Kulbhushan Jadav is an Indian national, who is been sentenced to death by the Pakistani Army court.. Wikileaks
Kulbhushan Jadav is an Indian national, who is been sentenced to death by the Pakistani Army court.. Wikileaks
A day after their meeting across a glass panel with Kulbhushan Jadhav in Islamabad, the mother and wife of the Indian national on death row in Pakistan, met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj here on Tuesday.
According to reports, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar accompanied Jadhav’s mother Avanti and wife Chetankul during the meeting at Sushma Swaraj’s residence.
In a meeting described as a “humanitarian gesture” by the Pakistan government on the birth anniversary of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Jadhav came face to face with his mother and wife after a gap of 22 months at the Pakistan Foreign Office in Islamabad on Monday.
Separated by a glass partition in the heavily-guarded building, they spoke through an intercom watched by the Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh who escorted them to the meeting.
Jadhav’s family was later taken to the Indian High Commission before their return to India late on Monday night via Oman.
The two women did not speak to the media in Islamabad.
Pakistan has said that the meeting does not mean any change in Pakistan’s stance regarding Jadhav.
Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April, following which India moved the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May.
India has said that Jadhav is innocent and has maintained that he was kidnapped from Iran where he had gone for handling his businesses after superannuation from the Indian Navy.
Despite the death verdict, Pakistan last week reiterated that he was not under threat of an immediate execution as his mercy petitions were still pending. IANS