Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 23:
Security will be further tightened along the Odisha coast since it is highly vulnerable to infiltration through the sea route, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said here on Sunday.
“Since Odisha has a coastline of around 480 km, more coast guards will be deployed along the coast to prevent infiltration through the sea,” Parrikar said briefing reporters at the Mayfair Hotel here.
The Defence ministry will have a greater presence in Odisha from now onwards and more youths from the state will be recruited in the Defence forces, said Parrikar. More defence personnel will deployed in the state and more missiles will be test fired from Chandipur, he added.
Parrikar parried a question on the Odisha government’s demand for formation a Kalinga Regiment, saying; “You cannot raise a regiment on the basis of caste or region. But we can certainly help in increasing the presence of the state in the defence forces.”
“I would ensure that defence presence will be felt more in Odisha so that you can get more people trained, get more people in the army, employment and more production,” he added.
Responding to another question during the press meet, the Defence minister said: “Our Navy is watchful against the Somalian pirates who are shifting their location towards India. Because shipping lanes are heavily guarded, they have moved 30-40 nautical miles in the direction of India. They are still 450 nautical miles away from India. They may not be next to India but we are watchful and careful.”