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Odishatv Bureau

'Sagar Kovach', a two-day joint coastal security exercise was launched off Odisha coast on Tuesday to access the preparedness of various agencies in case of terror attack.  

The objective of the joint exercise is to beef up maritime security in order to avoid any infiltration through marine routes and keep the personnel ready for exigencies. 

As many as 18 departments including the Indian Navy, the Indian Coast Guard Marine Police and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) are taking part in the joint exercise. 

The security exercise will be conducted for two days between Gopalpur of Ganjam district and Chandipur of Balasore. On the first day, the exercise was conducted off Paradip coast in Jagatsinghpur and Talasari and Udaypur coasts in Balasore.     

Basudev Samanta Dey, a Marine Police official said, “This is a joint exercise by the Centre and the State government. It will help crews become stronger while fishermen and civilians acquainted with the exercise. It will help us easily identify terrorists.” 

This year, fisher folks, who have a crucial role in coastal security, have also joined the exercise. 

Manoranjan Mohapatra, a fisheries department officer said, “We are thoroughly searching boats and identity cards of crew members of all boats are being verified. The fishermen are also sensitised about the Sagar Kavach exercise.”

Saroj Kumar Pradhan, member of fishermen’ association said, “The 26/11 Mumbai attacks is an example that sea is a safe route for terrorists to enter our territory. The fishermen are being alerted about the exercise.”

On the other hand, SOG commandoes, RPF, GRP, Commissionerate Police, bomb squads and Special Tactical Unit (STU) carried out a joint mock drill at Cuttack railway station today.

“We conduct mock drill on regular basis to maintain preparedness on as well as off the ground. It is conducted to assess the ability of our teams to deal with any kind of emergency situation,” said Cuttack deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Prateek Singh.

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