NEWS / MISSION SHAKTI
NEW DELHI: India reached a new milestone in defence preparedness, with a missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation shooting down on Wednesday a satellite it had placed in the orbit some time ago, as part of an experimental step.
The missile fired from the Abdul Kalam Space Centre near Balasore in Odisha, on the eastern coast, hit and smashed the satellite at a height of 300km. The exercise took just three mintues’ time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed the nation through a nationally televised address from New Delhi, where he monitored the process on a special screen.
With this, India entered a select club of three nations– the US, China and Russia — which have perfected this technology in the past. The US did such a satellite hit sometime between 2006 and 2008, China in 2007 and Russia in 2015.
The technology can be used, in future, for military and strategic purposes, vis-a-vis enemy nations, be it Pakistan or China.
The Pakistani establishment took note of the development, as prime minister Imran Khan held a meeting with his military chiefs after news spread of the Mission Shakti performance.
The Congress praised the DRDO scientists for the stellar feat, but said it was the Congress governments in the past which started action in this respect, and even conducted tests, but PM Modi was now trying to appropriate credit.
In response, a former chief of DRDO, VK Saraswat, said it was true that the DRDO officials made a presentation before the national security adviser to the Manmohan Singh government, but did not get the go-ahead to conduct the test. He said, as per his knowledge, the proposal was once again put forward by the current DRDO chief Satheesh Reddy and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and they won the go-ahead.
Meanwhile, CPIM leader Sitaram Yechury filed a complaint with the Election Commission, saying PM Modi has violated the code of conduct by addressing the nation and making a new claim about the Mission Shakti. EC has promised to look into the matter.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted in the forenoon that he would be addressing the nation in a matter of 15 minutes, and the nation stood up with considerable interest mixed with anxiety as to what was coming. It took the PM more than an hour to finally address the nation, by which time the anxiety levels rose sky-high. Many assumed he would announce success of another surgical strike against Pakistan, while rumours also swirled that India has targeted and killed wanted don Dawood Ibrahim.
The Congress and other Opposition parties suspect the PM was trying to hog credit for his government in the weeks preceding national elections. tIHN-NN
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