ISPR says no exercise, just a joint patrol
The first ever bilateral exercise between the navies of Bangladesh and India is taking place in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, according to the Indian Navy and media.
However, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) of Bangladesh has said the “the bilateral exercise” is actually a joint patrol.
A press release posted on the Indian Navy website on October 11 said the second edition of the Indian Navy-Bangladesh Navy Coordinated Patrol (IN-BN CORPAT) began in the Northern Bay of Bengal on October 10. Two Indian Navy ships, the INS Ranvijay and INS Kuthar, and two Bangladesh Navy ships, the BNS Ali Haider and BNS Shadinota, took part in the coordinated patrol.
The Indian Navy press release further said the two-day IN-BN CORPAT would be followed by the maiden IN-BN Bilateral Exercise, at Visakhapatnam from October 12-16.
On the other hand, a press release posted on the ISPR website said the BNS Ali Haider and BNS Shadinota took part in the second edition of IN-BN CORPAT before travelling to Visakhapatnam to conduct “activities related to joint patrol.”
The ISPR press release added that there would be a joint exercise between the two countries during the journey, but ISPR Assistant Director Rashadul Alam Khan told Dhaka Tribune this was not strictly correct when his attention was drawn to it.
“No joint exercise is taking place. When they mentioned joint exercise, they actually meant joint patrolling,” he said.
The first edition of IN-BN CORPAT was held in 2018, with the aim of adding a new dimension to Bangladesh-India maritime relations by improving communication and through the sharing of best practices.