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Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed dismantling of the decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat. The apex court was hearing a petition by a firm seeking to convert the ship into a maritime museum and multi-functional adventure centre.

In December last year, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi wrote to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and sought his immediate intervention to grant NOC (no objection certificate) to preserve decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Viraat. She also requested the central government to make the iconic carrier a memorial of India’s nationalism, patriotism and pride.

INS Viraat, the world’s longest-serving warship, was decommissioned by the Indian Navy four years ago. It was the second centaur-class aircraft carrier that was in service with the Indian Navy for 30 years before being decommissioned in March 2017. There were proposals in the past to preserve it as a maritime museum.

The warship, which was inducted into the Indian Navy in 1987, was purchased by Shree Ram Group for a sum of 38.54 crore at an auction in July this year.