Antony asks Army to deal with terrorists with ‘Utmost Firmness’

Antony asks Army to deal with terrorists with ‘Utmost Firmness’New Delhi, Mar 24 : Union Defence Minister A. K. Antony on Tuesday directed the Army to deal with the situation arising out the recent terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir with `utmost firmness'.

Antony held a detailed review of the security situation, and emphasized that the incidents highlight the nature of threat the country faces from the terrorists.

Sixteen Militants have been killed by the Security Forces in Kupwara district in the last five days. Eight Armymen including an officer have also lost their lives in the operation.

The meeting was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major and the Defence Secretary Vijay Singh.

In a separate meeting with the Naval Chief Mehta, Director General Coast Guard Vice Admiral Anil Chopra and other senior officers of Navy, Coast Guard and MoD, the Defence Minister also reviewed the issues relating to Maritime Security.

The issues included the setting up of Coastal Radar Stations to provide coverage to the entire coastline.

Other Cabinet decisions relating to Maritime Security such as Joint Control Room of Navy and Coast Guard and acquisition of Ships and Aircraft were also reviewed.

Antony was appraised of the steps being taken by the Navy and Coast Guard to provide secure cordons along the coast through intensified patrolling by ships and through continuous aerial surveillance.

Another meeting is proposed to be held on the Maritime Security issue next week in which representatives of other Ministries and organizations including MHA, Ministry of Shipping, Petroleum and Natural Gas will also be involved. (ANI)