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First batch of Sagar Prahari Bal completes training

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Indian Navy logo. A file photo.

KOCHI (PTI): The first batch of the Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB), raised to secure the country's coastline and protect Naval bases, has successfully completed training, a senior officer said Saturday.

The naval wing is entrusted with a vital job from the security point of view, Vice Admiral K N Sushil, Flag officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, said, adding "the 26/11 underscored how the medium of the seas and its sheer vastness can be exploited to harm us when we least expect it."

He cautioned that terrorists are using modern technologies, networks and information systems to transact money, sustain logistics support and establish command and control, akin to a military organisation.

"The weapons used are state-of-the-art and are highly lethal," he said.

Indian Navy has taken a number of steps to enhance coastal security. The Coast Guard, police, Customs, Port Trusts, CRPF, Department of Fisheries and the fishing community has extended full cooperation in this regard, he added.

Vice Admiral Sushil also observed that the security of island territories poses a major challenge to the Navy.

He was speaking at a function where Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan officially launched 47 state-of-the-art patrol boats for the state police for coastal security.

Balakrishnan said that the government, considering the importance of coastal region, has decided to open eight coastal police stations, which will be commissioned by the year end.

The 6.8 metre-long boats are powered by a 40 horsepower engine and can seat six people. Its navigation and communication equipment are imported from the US and the computer-controlled boats can be manned by a remote device.

The launch function was marked by a parade of boats and an acrobatic display of water-scooters.

Union minister of state for agriculture, K V Thomas, Kochi Corporation Mayor Prof Mercy Williams, DGP Jacob Punnoose, and DIG, Coast Guard B K Loshaly were among those present.

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