Updated January 29th, 2024 at 18:35 IST
ICG Still In Maldives, Vigilance Against Narco-Terrorism Stepped Up: IG West Cdr Bhisham Sharma
Whether it's illegal activities, acts of infiltration, or smuggling, the Indian Coast Guard is fully capable of neutralizing threats to protect our sea borders.
Mumbai: In a press conference held today at the Indian Coast Guard Headquarters in Mumbai, IG West Commander Bhisham Sharma addressed several critical issues, shedding light on the ongoing tensions between India and the Maldives and the efforts to combat narco-terrorism through sea routes.
Addressing the question on the reported warning to withdraw forces from the Maldivian coastline, Commander Sharma clarified, "I want to emphasize that our personnel are still stationed in the Maldives. Despite requests from the Maldives, we have not received any directives from our government to withdraw. Our presence in the Maldives is primarily for humanitarian and search and rescue purposes."
Turning the focus to the menace of narco-terrorism via sea routes, Sharma highlighted the vigilance of the coast in monitoring illegal activities based on intelligence inputs. He mentioned recent incidents where large quantities of drug packets were discovered both near Ratnagiri in Maharashtra and along the Gujarat coast. Sharma expressed concerns that these packets might have been discarded into the sea by traffickers, fearing interception by the Coast Guard or other agencies.
"Whether it's illegal activities, acts of infiltration, or smuggling, the Indian Coast Guard is fully capable of neutralizing threats to protect our sea borders," assured Commander Sharma in response to a question concerning potential threats similar to the 26/11 attacks, involving infiltration and the supply of arms and ammunition.
Acknowledging the challenges, Sharma added, "While the chances of someone infiltrating through the sea route by diving are minimal, we cannot rule out the possibility entirely. We operate on timely intelligence inputs shared by our sister agencies, taking swift actions to counter any anti-India activities occurring at sea and its borders."
Commander Bhisham Sharma concluded by emphasizing the Coast Guard's commitment to maintaining the security of India's maritime boundaries, showcasing a readiness to respond to any emerging threats or challenges.
Published January 29th, 2024 at 18:35 IST