Coastal Security Of India And The Gom Recommendations International

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INTRODUCTION

“If the world were to sit up and take note of terrorism on land, it must now stand to, to use a naval phrase, and prepare itself for possible terrorist acts at sea. The task will not be easy because of the nature of the maritimae domain or the theatre where acts of maritime terrorism will be perpetrated.” Adm Madhvendra Singh [1] 1. As the smoke billowing from hotel Taj in South Mumbai grabbed the attention of every news channel on 26 Nov 08 [2] , a country of 100 billion watched helplessly the shocking reality of the porous coastal security of Indian state, the only country in the world to have an ocean named after it .

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During his assignment at Mumbai, the author had been allotted a house in the naval officers enclave overlooking the Arabian sea on one side and the busy lanes of Colaba and Cuffe Parade on the other. Mumbai_attack Figure : Attack on Hotel Taj The horrid scenes of that fateful night would return to haunt every morning as the dome of hotel Taj, a symbol of majestic aura and regal legacy, visible at a distant landscape would usher the memories flooding back. Although a thesis or a dissertation requires an objective research, devoid of any emotional overtones, many a time the author could not help such occurrences. It may not find favour with the norms of writing a dissertation as described by Dr Gopalji Malviya [3] however, it did add to the pursuit of the subject with passion and enthusiasm.

Coastal Security

2. Coastal security, a major subset of an all encompassing subject of maritime security, has been on the centre stage, post terror attack on Mumbai on 26 Nov 08. India, being a maritime state, has numerous interests in the maritime zones and safeguarding these interests, has thrown up fresh challenges in the fast deteriorating security environment. 3. The use of sea route by terrorists for attack at Mumbai has highlighted the vulnerability of our coastline and the lacunae in our existing security mechanism [4] . The sphere of activities in the maritime environment is vast and thus, a number of agencies which include Indian Navy, Coast Guard, State Marine Police, Customs, fisheries, port authorities and other central and state departments, are the stake holders in the maritime domain. This multi agency environment requires co-operation, co-ordination and understanding of each others’ strengths as well as limitations, to ensure fool proof security by optimum exploitation of limited resources. The vulnerability of Indian coastal set up had been exposed earlier in the 1993 Mumbai blasts when the explosives had found their way into a desolate landing spot in Raigad coast. Only this time, it was not a wakeup call but a slap on the face of intelligence and security agencies. 

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