Pirates off Lakshadweep, Navy keeps eagle eye
More than 100 pirates active in the high seas are threatening the merchant navy charting waters off Lakshadweep Islands. Sources in the maritime forces said, “We have been alerted about the presence of two more groups of pirates by the merchant navy.” Since January, around 120 pirates have been arrested in four anti-piracy operations by the maritime forces.
An officer said, “Naval aircrafts and ships of the Navy and Coast Guard are maintaining a vigil on the Indian waters to prevent hijacking of the ship.”
A group of 16 pirates arrested recently had targeted Merchant Ship MV Maersk Kensington on March 26. “The pirates were on board a hijacked Iranian trawler Al-Mortaza. They had made six unsuccessful attempts, two days before they were arrested,” said a source.
The pirates had hijacked the Iranian trawler in November 2010 and had taken its crew, comprising 12 Iranians and six Pakistanis, hostage.
During interrogation, Mumbai police learnt that the pirates had killed two hostages — one during the anti-piracy operation and another a month after they hijacked the trawler.
A Navy officer said, “The pirates are a violent lot. They tried to escape when they were being brought to Mumbai.”
As part of Operation Island Watch, the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard are maintaining surveillance off Lakshadweep islands for the past several months. On March 12, the Indian Navy arrested 61 Somali pirates and rescued 13 hostages after getting a distress call from MN Vancouver Bridge which was attacked in the Arabian Sea.Share this: Twitter | StumbleUpon | Facebook | Delicious | digg | reddit | buzz
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