Tri-service Command launches Operation Shield in Andaman

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Port Blair, Nov 29 (UNI) The Andaman and Nicobar Command, India's first tri-service joint command, has launched a large-scale security operation, code-named 'Operation Shield', in remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands, to avert a crisis similar to that in Mumbai.

''The operations involve all components of the command - Army, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard. The objective of the operation is to ensure that foolproof measures are put in place to tackle any contingency caused by subversive elements, in addition to assuaging any fears or apprehensions that the people of the islands may have as regards to their safety and security,'' Commander Abhinav Barve told UNI today.

As part of Operation Shield, a large number of Naval and Coast Guard ships, Army troops and Air Force helicopters have been deployed across the islands.

''Vulnerable Islands and areas have been identified and enhanced surveillance measures instituted,'' Commander Barve added.

Resorts and hotels which primarily cater to tourists and foreigners have also been earmarked by the defence forces for assistance if required.

On Thursday, Vice-Admiral Vijay Shankar, the Commander-in Chief of Andaman and Nicobar Command, met the Lt Governor of the Islands and briefed him on the prevailing situation, with particular reference to the security of the Islands.

Meanwhile, soon after the Mumbai attack, Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Bhopinder Singh held a high level meeting at Port Blair and reviewed the security situation of the island.

He also directed all concerned authorities to take all measures to ensure the security and safety of the Islands.

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