New Delhi/Kolkata: India Sunday put on hold its search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight at the request of Kuala Lumpur which is reassessing its hunt for the aircraft.

“India has paused the search operation temporarily at the request of the Malaysian government. A high-level coordination meeting is on in Malaysia. We are waiting for it to end,” a defence ministry official told IANS.

“We want them to tell if they want to change the search area or widen it… Our ships are there in the Andaman sea and we await directions,” the official added.

In Port Blair, Colonel Harmit Singh, spokesman for the Andaman and Nicobar Command, told IANS: “The Coast Guard will revert to routine surveillance till further orders.”

The Indian Navy conducted the search over a wide area in the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal.

India pressed six ships – three each from the navy and the Coast Guard – for the search operation. A total of 45 ships and 60 aircraft from over a dozen countries are involved in the search.

The Malaysian plane with 239 passengers and crew vanished without trace after taking off from Kuala Lumpur March 8.

Source: IANS