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HC asks government to inform about steps to tighten coastal security

Referring to the recent incident of ‘Pakistani terror boat’, the Bombay High Court asked Maharashtra government to inform in detail what measures it had taken to tighten the coastal security in Mumbai and elsewhere.

The division bench headed by Justice V M Kanade, which was hearing a petition filed by Pune resident Ashwini Rane, asked the government to file an affidavit in three weeks.

Rane filed the petition after her husband, a construction professional, was murdered by unidentified persons. Among other things, it raises the issue of outdated weapons of policemen.

At the previous hearing, the HC had asked the state to inform what was its policy about acquiring weapons for the police force.

The PIL alleges that top police officers Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar, Ashok Kamte and others lost their lives during the Mumbai terror attacks of November 26, 2008 as their weapons were no match for those carried by the terrorists.

The court wanted to know what steps the government had taken to guard the coastal areas in the wake of 26/11 Mumbai attacks where the terrorists had arrived in Mumbai by the sea-route.

Referring to the recent incident off the Gujarat coast in which a Pakistani boat, suspected to be carrying terrorists, blew up after the Indian Coast Guard intercepted it; the bench said “the government has to take strong measures to ensure that the coastal areas are safe.”

The court had earlier noted that though the state government was required to revise its policy on acquiring weapons every three years, this had not been done since 2010.

Prosecutor Sandeep Shinde informed the court today that a new weapon policy was formulated in November 2014.

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