Fighter jets deployed for national capital region’s defenceDecember 17th, 2008 - 7:21 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 17 (IANS) The Indian Air Force has (IAF) has deployed its fighter jets at an airbase adjacent to the capital amidst sub-continental strains in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, a senior official said Wednesday.The deployment of the fighter jets at the Hindon air base in Ghaziabad, a satellite town of the capital, is part of the preparedness of the armed forces to deal with any eventuality.
“MiG-29s were deployed for the air defence of the capital three-four days back. What ever is required for the security of the capital is being done,” a senior official of the Western Air Command told IANS, requesting anonymity.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony Tuesday had ruled out military action against Pakistan but said bilateral relations would not be normal until Islamabad takes action against terrorists operating from its soil.
“We are not planning any military action… but at the same time unless Pakistan takes action against those terrorists who are operating from their soil against India and also against all those who are behind the Mumbai terrorist attack, things will not be normal,” he added.
The comments came amid mounting international pressure on Pakistan to act against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks.
“I cannot say what course of action we will take but unless Pakistan shows sincerity in whatever they are saying through their actions, one thing is very sure - that there is no question of things as usual,” said Antony.
The armed forces are on “high alert” following heightened tensions between the two neighbours in the wake of the Mumbai terror strikes that left over 170 dead and over 250 injured.
Fighters had been regularly deployed at Hindon till about a decade ago when they were shifted out due to the bird menace caused by an abattoir on the air base’s flight path. The closest the fighters are now deployed are at Ambala in Haryana and it would take them at least 15 minutes to arrive over the capital after being scrambled in case of an emergency.
They could be shifted back to Hindon once a modern abattoir that has been constructed is commissioned.