Thousands protest against A.K Antony in Amritsar over spate of submarine accidents

Amritsar, Feb. 28: Thousands took to streets in Amritsar on Friday protesting against Defence Minister A.K Antony over the spate of Submarine accidents hitting the country’s naval forces-a threat looming large over ‘India’s military breakdown’.

In recent years, military has been on the verge of breakdown, each military chief has informed Antony of the growing danger that the country might prove unable to fight future wars, said media sources.

The Navy is well below strength, and its increasingly obsolescent platforms are dangerous. Last year’s explosion on board INS Sindhurakshak was one of the significant accidents involving the Navy in the last seven months, which had caused more damage to the fleet than it suffered at war.

Meanwhile, over 2000 protesters comprising of army officers and residents staged a protest outside Deputy Commisioner’s office in Amritsar. The huge protest was lead by a former Army official Charan Singh Sidhu.

Protesters said they were irked over the policies and decisions taken by the Defence Minister regarding the safety of all the three forces-Navy, Army and Air force, which has led to a spate of disasters recently.

Protesters stressed that the resignation of the Naval Chief was not called for, as it was the responsibility of the defence minister to take steps to upgrade the naval fleet.

“The government forced naval chief D.K. Joshi to resign. We are holding a protest against this. We believe that instead of Joshi, Defence Minister A.K. Antony should have resigned for not making any contributions for the army in the past 35 years and is creating troubles for them instead”, said a protester and a former Indian Army official Charan Singh Sidhu.

Irate protesters said they demand the resignation of the defence minister, and will stage demonstration until their demands were met.

“We will march to the Amar Jawan Jyoti, and will stage a demonstration until the seventh pay commission comes into force and A.K. Antony resigns for the post”, said a protester and former Army official Charan Singh Sidhu.

The two officers went missing on duty on board when smoke filled parts of a Russian-built submarine on a training exercise off the Mumbai coast in the early hours of Wednesday.

Following this, navy chief, Admiral DK Joshi, has resigned after a submarine accident took place off the coast of Mumbai on Wednesday. The incident left seven sailors injured, while two went missing, which the Antony accepted. (ANI)