Kochi: Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Tuesday expressed the hope that there won’t be any peace violations on the border in 2014 and asserted that India will keep peace at any cost.
Antony, who was here to commission Abheek, a fast patrol vessel built by the Cochin Shipyard Ltd, said the government was making all efforts to secure the release of Indian fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy. He refused to comment on the reports regarding the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
He said he was not expecting any miracle on India-Pak border, but said that India will try to maintain peace. Last month, the border firing incidents and casualties were low.
“We are trying to find a lasting solution to the dispute by demarcating boundaries,” he said. One cannot expect an end to incursions until the border was fully secure, he added.
He also said the controversy on the arrest of Indian diplomat Devayani Khobragade will not affect Indo-US defence ties.
Antony launches second fast patrol vessel of Coast Guard
Kochi: Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Tuesday commissioned Abheek, the second fast patrol vessel of the Indian Coast Guard, designed and built by the Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).
Antony said that protecting and policing the waters against a wide spectrum of threats was the topmost priority.
The ship-building industry was facing several challenges, he said but expressed satisfaction that the CSL was designing and delivering fine ships. He revealed that five warships will be commissioned in 2014.
ICGS Abheek will be commanded by Commandant Manoj Kumar Negi and has a crew of 39. It would be based in Chennai.
The vessel can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots and has an endurance of 1,500 nautical miles.
The ship is capable of undertaking several tasks such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue and medical evacuation.
Vice-Admiral Anurag G. Thapliyal, Director- General of Indian Coast Guard, said that the ship was the 23rd commissioning that the Indian Coast Guard has achieved this year.
He added that the country was witnessing fast-paced modernisation of the Indian Coast Guard.