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Avoid contact with blacklisted firms during Defexpo: Defence Ministry

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NEW DELHI (PTI): The Defence Ministry has issued an advisory to the three services to avoid contact with the weapon manufacturing firms blacklisted recently by the government, two of which would be displaying their products in the Defexpo-12, beginning later this week.

The ministry has also constituted a team of officials which will be on vigil to ensure that no foul play- from the officials and the participants- takes place during the four- day-long defence exhibition which is starting on March 29.

"We have issued an advisory through the Defence Ministry and all its wings, and also the services, that they should advise all their officers to avoid contact with these companies," Secretary Defence Production, Shekhar Aggarwal told reporters here today.

He was asked whether the six companies including four foreign firms, which were blacklisted by the Defence Ministry recently, were participating in the Defexpo.

Agarwal said that two of the blacklisted firms- Rheinmetall Zurich and Israel Military Industry (IMI)- were participating in the exhibition.

"The process of registration with the FICCI had started before the blacklisting (of these companies). Two companies had decided to participate and had booked space. But we thought it may not be advisable and may create legal complications if we ask them to withdraw," he said.

On steps to ensure that no foul play took place during the exhibition as an Air Force officer was allegedly found indulging in a case of illegal gratification during last year's Aero India show, he said, "We have constituted a team headed by joint secretary and officers of DGQA.

"They would be on vigil throughout the event to check any malpractice," Aggarwal said.

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