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Navy to raise separate force to monitor coastal areas

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KOLKATA (PTI): In the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, a separate force would be raised to monitor coastal areas, a top naval officer has said.

"There will be a separate force, Sagar Prahari Bal, for the purpose of increasing vigil in coastal areas of the country, starting from Gujarat to West Bengal," Naval officer-in-charge (West Bengal) Commodore Chandra Sekhar Azad told a press conference on Tuesday.

The force will constitute 1,000 navy personnel, including 61 officers and 939 sailors and will have 95 Fast Interceptive Craft (FIC), Azad said, adding that the induction for the force will start from January next year.

When asked about the allocation for West Bengal, Azad said, the state would get 150 navy personnel, including four officers, and four FICs.

Azad said, "The new force will check every vessel above 300 tons...Most of the people recruited in this force will be from coastal areas."

The state government has also decided to form a force in coastal areas, which will co-ordinate between police and fishermen, he said.

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