Saturday, December 5, 2009

Special forces ready to guard coastal areas

From January 2010, the coastal areas of Bengal will be guarded by a 250-strong special force of the Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB).

The SPB of the Indian Navy, which will also protect the naval bases, was sanctioned in March, 2009 and comprises of 1,000 personnel. The SPB will also have 80 fast interception crafts (FIC) for seafront patrolling in the country.

For the coastline of Bengal that is expanded from Digha to Hashnabad, the Indian Navy has allocated four FICs, said Chandra Sekhar Azad, naval officer-in-charge (NOIC), West Bengal.

“For the SPB, we are people who have two-year stint in coast guard service. The entire force will work under the NOIC, Bengal. This force will protect the naval assets. It is a dedicated setup, which will be responsible for the security of the coastline and the offshore as well,” said Azad.

The state government has, meanwhile, also sanctioned a special force called Sagar Surakhsha Bal (SSB). “The state has decided to form the SSB by raising people for the coastal hamlets of Bengal for the post of coast-guards. The idea of recruiting people from the hamlet is to strengthen the local intelligence in the areas,” added Azad.

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