Goof up with national security, IAF's dumbness revealed

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India-China border
New Delhi, Oct 20: If the latest reports are to be believed than it could be termed as a major security goof up from Indian Air Force. Reports suggest that IAF has allegedly disclosed sensitive information in a tender document posted on its website, which gives the accurate coordinates, latitude and longitude, of a number of Army helipads in the vital northern and eastern sectors bordering Pakistan and China.

The tender document relates to hiring of choppers from PSUs and private airlines to airlift stores for the army.

The exact coordinates of army helipads in the northern sector, including some near the Line of Control (LOC), at locations such asKishtwar, Chowkibal, Kupwara, Khundru, Sonaarwain, Tangdhar, Inshan, Navapachi, Kanzalwan, Dawar and Niru have been revealed by the IAF in the tender document. These helipads fall under the army"s Udhampur-based Northern Command.

"Such information had been put in tender documents earlier too," said IAF sources. Defence sources expressed concerns over the safety of such highly sensitive information and said that was "not classified." Though, it was not available in search engine websites, however, the information were still construed in public domains.

Asian Age paper quoted defence sources as saying that the ministry of defence could soon take up the matter with the IAF.

Coordinates including some in Arunachal Pradesh near the Line of Actual Control which comprise Tawang, Daporijo, Tato, Taksing, Bidak, Manigong and Chuna, have also been revealed in the tender document. These fall under the Kolkata-based Eastern Command. The helipads are utilised both by the army and IAF.

Sources said that it was a deliberate move from IAF to lure more vendors to apply for the tender call. The tender was called by IAF for airlift of stores, vehicles, equipment, construction material and even army officers to these remote and sensitive helipads.

While the border tension between India, Pakistan and China escalating, meanwhile, reports suggest on Chinese soldiers deployed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), this event will definitely instill fear in Defence Ministry.

This revealing of information instantly drew flak from some quarters, who raised concerns about national security, as the controversial tender document carried crucial coordinates of helipads, including some near the LoC, border with PoK, that could put longtime adversary, Pak, at advantage in case of a conflict. Similarly, details on coordinates of helipads in Arunachal near the LAC, may fetch advantage for China.

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