CPI-M slams UPA for forging ‘India-Israel-US axis’

April 24th, 2009 - 10:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Friday attacked the Manmohan Singh government for “forging a deep security and military collaboration with Israel” and raised questions about the launching of Israeli spy satellites by India.
The CPI-M, which fiercely opposed the India-US nuclear deal, accused the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of “obfuscating” facts about the launch of Israeli satellites and alleged this collaboration was part of the “overall India-Israel-US axis”.

“The Congress-led government has been surreptitiously forging a deep security and military collaboration with Israel,” the CPI-M politburo said in a statement.

“The launching of Israeli spy satellites is just one aspect of this collaboration which is part of the overall India-Israel-US axis. The launch of an Israeli-made spy satellite and the trilateral joint naval exercises off the coast of Japan are the two latest instances,” the party said.

The statement refers to the the Israeli-made satellite, Radar Imaging Satellite-2 (RISAT-2), which was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) April 20.

The surveillance satellite has the capability to maintain vigil on the country’s borders even at night and through clouds.

The ISRO maintains it will use the satellite for disaster management and weather forecasts. However, the satellite imagery data can be made available to defence forces for securing the national borders.

In January 2008, the ISRO had launched the Israeli satellite TECSAR.

The CPI-M had then alleged that Israel was using the TECSAR for surveillance of its neighbouring countries, including Iran.

“The RISAT-2 satellite has been parked in the same orbit of 41 degree inclination as the earlier TECSAR satellite which is being used by Israel for surveillance of the Middle East, including Iran. It has the SAR technology used in TECSAR,” the party said.

It asked the Manmohan Singh government to clarify issues like whether this launch was part of the agreement arrived at with Israel for launching its three spy satellites.

“The government claims that RISAT-2 is meant for surveillance of our borders. But then why is this satellite in the same orbit as the earlier Israeli TECSAR satellite?” the party asked.

The CPI-M also asked whether the launching of the RISAT-2 was a joint venture which involves sharing intelligence with Israel.

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