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Focusing on all angles in submarine tragedy: Antony

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Focusing on all angles in submarine tragedy: Antony
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New Delhi: Defence Minister A.K. Antony Thursday said the Indian Navy would examine all the aspects, including sabotage, that led to the INS Sindhurakshak tragedy.

Speaking during a discussion in the Rajya Sabha, Antony said the submarine tragedy would be treated as a "special case" with respect to providing compensation to the families of the 18 dead sailors.

"Government is concerned about the incident and we want to get to the truth. Indian Navy has ordered a Board of Inquiry, which will examine all aspects of causes," said Antony.

He said: "The incident has cast a shadow on our capability to safeguard country's interest in maritime security, especially in the emerging scenario in the Indian Ocean region."

INS Sindhurakshak sank in Mumbai harbour Aug 14.

Giving details of rescue operations, Antony said: "We recovered seven bodies by Aug 20 and remains of one more sailor were found Aug 21."

Replying to a query on the status of compensation to families of sailors whose bodies are yet to be found, he said: "We will treat it as a special case."

The defence minister assured the house that the Indian Navy is giving all assistance to families of the dead sailors.

On strengthening India Navy, Antony said: "Oceans are becoming our lifeline so we have to strengthen Indian Navy... In the present economic situation that kind of money is not coming."

He said audit of all operational submarines of Indian Navy has already been ordered.

IANS

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