Coastal Guard security exercise held along Bengal-Odisha coastline

Kolkata: Indian Coast Guard conducted a two-day security exercise along the coastal waters of West Bengal and Odisha to ensure preparedness against any sea-borne terror strike similar to the 2008 Mumbai attack, an offical said on Friday.

“‘SagarKavach’ was carried out to primarily assess the present security arrangements, to re-validate the standard operating procedures and to strengthen the security mechanism to face the threats from anti-national elements,” said K.R. Nautiyal, commander of North East Coastal Guard region.

Along with the coast guard regional headquarters in the city and district coast guard headquarters at Haldia in West Bengal and Paradip in Odisha, the Indian Navy, the Border Security Force and coastal police and Fisheries Departments of the two states participated in the joint exercise that began on Thursday.

“A host of coastal security assets comprising four naval ships, one naval aircraft, 13 coast guard ships and hovercrafts, boats of coastal police, customs, BSF and CISF were deployed to carry out comprehensive surveillance of the coastal waters of West Bengal and Odisha,” a statement said.

The participating units were divided into two groups – one for simulating an attack on the coasts and the other for defending it, said a Coast Guard officer.

“Seamless co-ordination between the stakeholders was given major emphasis during the exercise,” the officer added.