Against the backdrop of increased Chinese activities in and around country's territorial waters, the Indian Navy has deployed eight warships around the entry points into the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to keep an eye on the adversarial nations.
The deployments have been line with PM Modi's assertion that the Navy was the net security provider in the IOR, and the responsibility of maintaining security and stability in this region was India's responsibility.
"At any time, we have eight warships on patrol to keep an eye on the entry points in and around the IOR, as part of our mission-based deployments, which started around six months ago. Along with it, we also have our training vessels on a look out around the area," government sources said.
"All the choke and entry points for the Chinese into the IOR are being monitored by our ships, along with the eastern and western fleets, which are deployed on both sides of the country. Any area not directly monitored is scanned regularly by the P-8Is operating in the region," they said.
The Rukmini radar is also keeping a watch over the area, they said.
On the reports that Chinese Navy had deployed 11 warships in the IOR to deter India from interfering in Maldivian affairs, the sources said, No movement of Chinese ships were detected near the Maldivian waters. The closest they came was 2,500 nautical miles.
The warships sailed into the East Indian Ocean this month, a Chinese news portal said, amid a constitutional crisis in the tiny tropical island.
A fleet of destroyers and at least one frigate, a 30,000-tone amphibious transport dock and three support tankers entered Indian Ocean, news portal Sina.com.cn said. Indian Navy has robust maritime domain awareness and has a clear picture of happenings in the IOR, Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma said.
Sources say, a Chinese Navy task force entered the Indian Ocean from Sunda strait for exercises in international waters 15 days ago, which is closer to Australia, and has since left via Lombok strait that lies between the Indonesian islands of Bali and Lombok.
Rivalry between the Indian and Chinese navy has been playing out in Indian Ocean as China has been trying to create bases in territories close to India such as Sri Lanka and Maldives.
The Chinese are also creating new ports in Maldives to deploy ships in the IOR where more than 70 per cent of its merchant shipping takes place.
Credits: INDIA TODAY