India suspends search operation for missing Malaysian aircraft

India suspends search operation for missing Malaysian aircraft

India suspends search operation for missing Malaysian aircraft

India today suspended search operations for the missing Malaysian Airlines aircraft MH 370 and placed all the Indian assets earmarked for the purpose on standby.

"The Malaysian authorities have now indicated that based on investigation, the search operations have entered a new phase and a strategy for further searches is being formulated. Accordingly, search operations have been suspended and all Indian assets earmarked for search and rescue operations have been placed on standby," a defence release here said.

So far no sighting or detection has been reported by the units deployed for searches in various designated areas, it said.

India had deployed numerous assets of the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Indian Coast Guard to search for the missing aircraft with 239 people on board.

A total of six aircraft and six ships with their integral helicopters from the tri-services Andaman and Nicobar Command, the Eastern Naval Command, the IAF and the Indian Coast Guard were deployed to comb the designated search areas spanning across the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

Additional naval assets from the ENC were kept standby for immediate deployment.Earlier, Andaman and Nicobar Command spokesperson Colonel Harmit Singh said the search operations have been put on hold and "we are awaiting fresh instructions from Malaysia."

The aircraft of the force have not flown since morning including the P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft and the C-130J Super Hercules special operations aircraft of the IAF, Navy officials said.

The Coast Guard and the Navy had deployed six warships, including the ICGS Kanaklata Baruah and Bhikaji Cama, along with the ICGS Sagar to conduct searches in the Malacca Straits. The Navy had deployed INS Saryu and INS Kesari for searches operations in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal in area.