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Forces should maintain eternal vigil: Antony
NEW DELHI, AUG 14 (IANS):
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Published on 14 Aug. 2009 11:55 PM IST
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Defence Minister A.K. Antony Friday asked the armed forces to be eternally vigilant against terror strikes like the 26/11 Mumbai carnage, saying the security agencies would have to work in close coordination to prevent their recurrence. “Last year’s terror attack on Mumbai showed us the extent of damage that can be inflicted on any nation’s economy and the social fabric. It is, therefore, extremely important that our armed forces maintain eternal vigil - at all times,” Antony said in his broadcast to the armed forces on the eve of India’s 63rd Independence Day. Outlining the measures taken to beef up the security apparatus post 26/11, Antony said: “Coastal security has been beefed up with acquisitions of new systems and platforms. Besides the three wings of our armed forces, the Coast Guard too has an important role to play in strengthening coastal security.” In this context, he noted that post-26/11, the Coast Guard has set up a GPS Fisheries Alert System “which would be of great utility to our fishermen”. “We also want to equip and strengthen coastal police stations along our coastline. However, all the concerned security agencies will have to work in close coordination. We continue to be firm in our resolve to defend our borders at all costs,” the defence minister added. Underscoring the need for modernising the armed forces and making them “technology intensive”, Antony said this has to go “hand-in-hand” with indigenisation. “We are firm in our resolve to provide our armed forces with the latest equipment, but at the same time, we must reduce our dependence on foreign products. Here, I would like to particularly mention the development of INS Arihant - the indigenous nuclear submarine. Our short-term and long-term aim should be to make such examples the norm,” the defence minister maintained. Antony commended the armed forces and other security agencies for enabling the conduct of peaceful general elections in April-May, as also the Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir. “It is largely due to your endeavour that several misguided youth have returned to the mainstream, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. Our armed forces have also undertaken several welfare programmes in the northeastern states,” he added.

 
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