NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday assured that the government was committed to ensuring coastal security so that the terrorists are not able to launch 26/11 like attack using the sea routes.
Informing of the event, Ministry of Defence officially communicated that while addressing the Investiture Ceremony of Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in Chennai Rajnath Singh said, “The security at land is strongly linked to security at sea. Our country is facing significant challenges from 'non-state', as well as 'state-sponsored' terrorism. The attack of 26/11 happened through sea route only. It is the strong resolve of this government that we will not let such incidents to happen on our territory”.
Defence Minister called for a 24x7 vigil, co-ordination and pro-active approach from all agencies in the Maritime domain to thwart any potential threats posed by 'non-state' as well as 'state-sponsored' terrorism.
Rajnath Singh commended Coast Guard for its active involvement in saving over 4,000 precious lives during recent flood disaster relief operation “Sahayata” in Coastal States of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. He said ICG also proved its prowess and reach by undertaking major fire-fighting operation onboard Merchant Ship Daniela off Colombo, Motor Tanker Genessa off Kandla and Merchant Vessel Maersk Honam on the fringes of Indian Search and Rescue Region and thus carved a niche among International Maritime community.
“The service created a Maritime history by seizing 1.5 Ton Heroin from Merchant Ship Henry, giving a setback to anti-national elements by averting misuse of funds that would have been generated from contraband. These are just a few of many such incidents wherein Indian Coast Guard has lived up to its reputation as ‘Sentinels of Sea’”, Rajnath Singh added.
Singh also informed the Coast Guard personnel of proposal to confer a scroll signed by the President of India for the awardees has been approved by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and is submitted to PMO. He also said a proposal for inclusion of ICG medals in Order of Precedence (OOP) is under consideration of MoD in consultation with Ministry of Home Affairs so that the awardees are not deprived of the desiring prestige and benefits.
Earlier, Singh conferred gallantry and meritorious service medals to ICG personnel. A total of 61 awards including one President’s Tatrakshak Medals (Gallantry), eight President’s Tatrakshak Medals (Distinguished Service), 32 Tatrakshak Medals (Gallantry) and 20 Tatrakshak Medals (Meritorious Service) were conferred to the ICG personnel by Raksha Mantri.
The President Tatrakshak Medals and Tatrakshak Medals are awarded as recognition to selfless devotion to duty, exemplary courage and acts of valour under extreme condition to the officers and men.
Director General Indian Coast Guard K Natarajan, senior officials of MoD and Indian Coast Guard were present on the occasion.