PORT BLAIR, India, March 16 India on Sunday put
on hold its search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370,
at the request of the government in Kuala Lumpur, which wants to
reassess the week-old hunt for the Boeing 777 that is suspected
of being deliberately flown off course.
India had been combing two areas, one around the Andaman and
Nicobar Islands, and a second, further west, in the Bay of
Bengal. Both operations have been suspended, but may yet resume,
defence officials said.
"It's more of a pause," said Commander Babu, a spokesman for
the country's Eastern Naval Command.
"The Malaysian authorities are reassessing the situation.
They will figure whether they need to shift the area of search."
The fate of the flight, with 239 passengers and crew aboard,
has been shrouded in mystery since it vanished off Malaysia's
east coast less than an hour into a March 8 flight from Kuala
Lumpur to Beijing.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Saturday the
plane appeared to have been deliberately steered off course
after someone on board shut down its communications systems.
A review of search operations involving more than a dozen
countries will be held in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, Indian
"The search operation is not over, we are on standby and are
awaiting instructions from the Malaysians," said a senior
military official in Port Blair, capital of the Andaman and
Nicobar Islands, an archipelago west of the Malay Peninsula.