‘INS Dweeprakshak’: Navy commissions full-fledged naval base station in Lakshadweep

As part of its efforts to augment the security of the strategically significant Lakshadweep archipelago, on Monday. The Navy commissioned a full-fledged naval base, INS Dweeprakshak, at Kavaratti.

Objective: To maintain effective coastal surveillance and defence capability. Indian warships on patrol would now extend their reach farther with base support from INS Dweeprakshak.

What is the strategic importance of full-fledged Naval base INS Dweeprakshak?

The navy had positioned detachments to the Lakshadweep Islands since independence. It also preserved permanent facilities on Kavaratti Island since the 1980s. With rising threat to Indian shipping lanes, such as attacks by Somali pirates, the island territory has grown in significance to Indian security considerations. INS Dweeprakshak was therefore established to facilitate the Indian Navy to offer surveillance potentialities and amenities to Indian naval vessels on patrol.

A blast from the past:

Under the British Raj the Lakshadweep islands were a part of the Madras Presidency and in conformity with the Indian Independence Act 1947, ordained by the British parliament, the islands were transferred to the fresh Union of India. Nevertheless, whilst the Madras Presidency had a Hindu majority, the islands had a Muslim majority. Therefore it appeared probable that the fresh dominion of Pakistan may attempt to claim to them. Thus, on the orders of the first Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of India Vallabhbhai Patel, a ship of the Royal Indian Navy was sent to the Laccadives (as they were then called) to hoist the Indian national flag and ascertain the islands’ integration into the fresh Union of India. Hours after the coming of the Indian ship, vessels of the Royal Pakistan Navy were seen near the islands, but after discovering Indian naval existence they turned back to Karachi.

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