Director-General of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) Vice-Admiral Anurag G. Thapliyal has refused to be drawn into the controversy over India’s stand on Katchatheevu and whether India should take back the islet for security reasons.
“I will not comment upon it,” the Vice Admiral said when asked whether India should stake claim to the islet on security point of view. “It is a diplomatic question and I have no answer to it. I do not think it is correct on my part to say anything on it. The Government of India’s stand (on the issue) is quite clear and you are aware of it,” he said.
The Vice Admiral, who was talking to reporters after commissioning the Air Cushion Vehicle (ACV) Hovercraft H-195 at the Mandapam station of ICG here on Tuesday, said he was not aware of reports that Sri Lanka was establishing its naval base at the islet, posing security threat to India.
Replying to a question, he said the Indian coast was safe and secure.
Being a very long coast, it, however, required continuous monitoring, especially when there was large amount of fishing traffic on the one side and shipping traffic on the other.
Thanks to the proximity to the Gulf countries, there was large amount of shipping traffic in the western coast and the role of ICG was challenging and enormous, he said.
He also said, “We are doing the best by mounting surveillance.” The maritime police was slowly taking over the jobs of the ICG from five nautical miles from the shore, he added. The western coast was free from piracy for the last two years, he said. (The Hindu)