India appoints first national maritime security coordinator 14 years after 26/11 Mumbai attacks

  • India has appointed Vice Admiral (retd) G Ashok Kumar as India's first national maritime security coordinator to strengthen the country's maritime security

Livemint
Updated17 Feb 2022
G Ashok Kumar has been appointed as India's first national maritime security coordinator.
G Ashok Kumar has been appointed as India’s first national maritime security coordinator.(HT_PRINT)

Consistent with India's attemp to augment its maritime security following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack 14 years, the government has appointed Vice Admiral (retd) G Ashok Kumar as India's first national maritime security coordinator to strengthen the country's maritime security.

The significant move comes with a mandate to ensure cohesion among various key stakeholders with an overall objective to secure the country.

The Cabinet Committee on Security had cleared the proposal for the creation of the post just last year. And the appointment of Kumar is seen as part of the country's attempt to bolster its maritime security following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack 14 years back when a group of sea-borne terrorists struck at the heart of the country's financial capital. 

The people familiar with the developments said the government has appointed the country's first national maritime security coordinator (NMSC), according to PTI report.

The NMSC works in coordination with the National Security Council Secretariat headed by NSA Ajit Doval. They said the NMSC is tasked to coordinate among the Indian Navy, the Coast Guard, security agencies involved in coastal and maritime security and 13 coastal states and Union Territories.

Meanwhile, the vice Admiral Kumar retired from service in July last year. The government has been focusing on ensuring cooperation among all maritime stakeholders to enhance India's maritime security and surveillance in view of multiple security challenges.

Ever since the Mumbai terror attack, the government has taken a string of security measures including putting in place layered maritime surveillance to bolster coastal and maritime security. India has a coastline of around 7,500-kilometres.

On November 26, 2008, 10 Pakistani terrorists sneaked into Mumbai through the sea, arriving by boat from Karachi, and went on the rampage, carrying out coordinated attacks on the main Chattrapati Shivaji railway terminus, the iconic Taj Mahal hotel, the Trident hotel, and a Jewish centre — all in the heart of the financial capital's downtown area.

Over 166 people, including foreigners, were killed in the nearly 60-hour assault that sent shock waves across the country and even brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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