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Defence minister A.K. Antony. Photo: Mint
Defence minister A.K. Antony. Photo: Mint

Frequent mishaps on warships matter of concern: A.K. Antony

Antony asks the Navy to follow procedures and take corrective measures to avoid accidents

New Delhi: The frequent mishaps involving warships was a matter of “serious concern", defence minister A.K. Antony said on Thursday as he asked the Navy to follow procedures and take corrective measures to avoid such accidents.

The defence minister said he was not giving ‘100% satisfaction certificate" on the issue of reasons behind the mishaps and steps taken by the Navy to address them. “It is a matter of serious concern.... Sometimes speedy induction of large size equipment creates some logistical problems but at the same I don’t say that they have become careless. They are in the process of taking corrective actions and see that these kind of incidents do not take place in future," he said at the Defexpo press conference.

The minister was asked if he was worried over the increasing mishaps in the Navy where its assets have been involved in nine mishaps in the last seven months. The minister said he does not “keep a count of such accidents as for me as a minister and as an Indian, even one mishap is a serious matter.But I have been told that the Navy is taking measures and they are studying the reasons behind these incidents and taking corrective measures."

He said everybody in the force should adhere to the standard operating procedures as he refused to interfere in the inquiry processes of the Navy to look into these incidents.

After the INS Sindhurakshak sank in Mumbai harbour on 14 August, there have been at least eight incidents involving the naval assets including the latest one in Vizag where an amphibious warfare vessel ran aground.

Asked about the cases of sexual misconduct involving naval officers, the minister said, “If you look at the society as a whole, the good thing about military is that they are taking action against the guilty people compared to other areas.There may be occasional failures and lapses, but they are taking action."

“They are taking action on issues of morality, human rights violations and such issues.There are lapses sometimes; I am not saying everything is ‘pucca’. But they are taking actions. There are cases, where they may not have taken action, but they are by and large taking action," he said. A Captain-rank officer is facing the prospect of being dismissed after he was found guilty of having an illicit affair.

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