इंडियन आवाज़     02 Oct 2023 10:50:56      انڈین آواز

Efforts are on for safe release of 53 sailors

According to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Indian Missions and Posts concerned are in regular touch with the ship owners and with the Governments of countries where these ship owners are based to secure the release of Indian sailors. Director General, Shipping has continued his efforts to expedite steps by the owners of the ships to secure the release of our sailors from the pirates.

Indian Ambassador in Cairo and Consul General in Dubai are also working with their counterparts from other countries whose crew members have been held by the pirates in order to intensify efforts to secure the release of crew held in these ships, expeditiously.

The 53 Indian sailors were seized during the capture of the ships – MV Iceberg – Panamian Flag, MV Suez – Panamian Flag, MT Asphalt Venture – Panamian Flag, MT Savina Caylyn – Italian Flag, MV Sinin – Panamian Flag – by the Somali pirates.

In most cases, ships on which Indian crew members are held in captivity have crew members of other nationalities also. For instance, MV Iceberg has 9 Yemenis, 6 Indians, 1 Filipino, 4 Ghanians, 2 Sudanese and 2 Pakistanis, all held by the pirates. MV Suez has 6 Indians, 11 Egyptians, 4 Pakistanis and 1 Sri Lankan, all held by pirates.

The UN Security Council and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) are working on prevention, guidance, reporting and cooperation to mitigate piracy. One Indian naval ship had been deployed in the Gulf of Aden to escort Indian shipping interests since 2008. Following recent incidents of pirate attacks closer to Indian western shores, the Indian Navy has increased its vigil and neutralized two pirate “mother ships” and captured 43 pirates.

As a result of such efforts, 21 Indian nationals held on merchant ships were released in 2008, 34 in 2009, 56 in 2010 and 13 in 2011 bringing the total number of sailors that have been released to 124. 53 Indian sailors who were crew members of hijacked ships seized by pirates are presently held in captivity.

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