Observing that the Indian Navy is prepared to tackle 26/11-type attack from outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba [ Images ], Admiral Nirmal Verma on Tuesday said the "core concern" of the maritime force was about the coalescing of state and non-state actors.
"The way we have prepared ourselves, we have always presumed this (a terror attack from sea). Even before (key 26/11 handler) Abu Jundal said this, we had always assumed that there would be such preparations on their side and that has been factored in our preparations," he said.
The Navy chief was asked about the preparation of the force to tackle 26/11-type attacks in the wake of revelations by LeT terrorist Jundal that the terror organisation had reactivated its maritime wing.
The Navy has prepared itself by strengthening its capabilities and coordinating with stakeholders, including fishermen who were its "eyes and ears", Verma, who is retiring in the end of August, told a farewell press conference.
On tackling a 2008 Mumbai-type strike, he said, "There will always remain uncertainties and adversaries but on our part, it is intended to ensure that the levels of asymmetry are never such that they encourage adventurism."
He said, "Terrorism [ Images ] from the sea and terrorism at sea are now realities of our times and in our external environment one of our core concerns is the coalescing of the state with non-state entities, both of which, individually, in collaboration or as hybrid create a high degree of uncertainty".
"Our maritime strategy intends to ensure that there is no schism between the challenges that we face and our capabilities to respond to them," he said.
He also said the "plague" of piracy around Indian island territories and Gulf of Aden has been "arrested" to a significant extent.
On the success in anti-piracy operations, Verma said, "With respect to piracy, we have, to a significant extent, arrested this plague."
"Along with the sustained efforts of various navies and the shipping community, the success rate of piracy has dropped from 38 per cent in 2008 to 11 per cent till 2011 and even further in 2012," he said.
He said after collaborative efforts with China and Japan [ Images ] in anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden, South Korea has also expressed its interest in joining the group.
Noting that "proactive and effective action" by Navy and Coast Guard have neutralised pirate ships operating in the region, the Navy chief said, "I am happy to state that over the past year, there has not been a single incident of piracy within 300 nautical miles of our island territories on the west coast."
He said due to the secure sea lanes close to the Indian territories, international shipping has started moving closer to it and as a result of it, "an unfortunate incident of mistaken identity resulted in the loss of innocent lives of our fishermen. Such are the dangers and challenges which require to be addressed."