Skip to comments.Govt. rejects pirates' swap offer, sends warship to Somalian waters
Posted on 04/22/2011 1:46:40 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
Toughening its stand on the Indian sailors hostage crisis in Somalian waters, the Indian Navy today sent a Talwar class frigate to the Somalia coast to deal with any exigency during ongoing negotiations, even as the government rejected the pirates' offer for a swap with captured brigands.
Overseas Indian Affairs minister Vayalar Ravi said the Indian government rejected the swap offer made by Somali pirates in order to get the abducted Indian sailors freed.
The Government, he told mediapersons here, would not bargain with pirates for the release of the sailors, and added that his Ministry was coordinating with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Home Ministry to ensure the safe release of the sailors at the earliest.
Mr Ravi's statement comes in the wake of reports that the spokesperson for the Somalian pirates had commented that the rest of the Indian sailors were being held to use them as bargaining chips in lieu of their colleagues arrested by the Indian Navy recently.
Meanwhile, the Navy today dispatched one of its warships, presently patrolling the Gulf of Aden, to the Somalian coast to provide any assistance needed during negotiations with pirates holding several Indians as hostages, according to officials here.
"In view of the deepening crisis where seven Indian sailors were still held captive by pirates despite payment of ransom, the Navy has put one of its warships on high alert and dispatched it to the Somalian coast," said officials.
While eight sailors of the 15-member all-Indian crew, held hostage aboard the cargo ship MV Asphalt Venture since September 2010, were released after negotiations, seven have been held back by the pirates.
The Navy has arrested more than 100 pirates over the past six months in various rescue operations in the Indian Ocean.
Just last month 61 Somalian pirates were arrested from the mother vessel Vega 5, the largest number held in a single operation.
Published: Monday, Apr 18, 2011, 21:37 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
India has deployed a naval warship close to the Somali coast as part of efforts to secure the release of seven of its nationals still held captive by the pirates despite taking ransom.
A Talwar Class stealth warship has been positioned near the coast for readiness for any military action in case it is required to rescue the hostages.
"We will not leave that place without rescuing the hostages still with the Somali pirates. This is our top priority," top defence ministry sources said today.
Each navy warship has a component of elite marine commandos on-board and they have taken part in anti-piracy operations in the recent past.
Asked if there was a possibility of an operation by the special forces to rescue the hostages, the sources said, "this is a sensitive issue. We can't talk about it."
The pirates have released eight Indian sailors from merchant vessel MV Asphalt Venture but have held back seven hostages to secure the release of their accomplices languishing in Indian prisons.
The frigate despatched to Somalia will remain close to the hijacked ship and ensure that MV Asphalt Venture doesn't get hijacked again nor its crew is harmed by other groups.
The issue comes after a high level meeting held yesterday to deal with the issue where finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, home minister P Chidambaram, defence minister AK Antony and navy chief Nirmal Verma were present.
Another meeting is expected to take place tomorrow if there is any further progress in the issue, they added.
The Indian Navy has captured 120 Somali pirates during its anti-piracy operations in the waters off the Horn of Africa and Lakshadweep Islands in the last six months. The biggest capture was of 61 Somali pirates last month after a mother ship, Vega 5, was apprehended.
According to reports, 53 Indian sailors are being held hostage on five different ships. Of them, 17 have been held for the longest on MT Savina Caylyn, an Italian ship which was seized Feb 8, 2010.
Sink anything bigger than a Kayak that is in Somali waters and loaded down with Tyrone and Leroy, and their kin.
Fear me, I am Ghurka !!
good link below about one ghurka with blade vs 40 train hijackers. hint on who wins:
money line from link: “Fighting the enemy in battle is my duty”
We had a hard enough time fighting with the Indians when all they had was bows and arrows. Sheesh. Now they have these ships and planes. Those Somali pirates better watch out or the Sioux will come over and count coup on their behinds with a Tomahawk missile.
“Millions for defense, sir, but not one penny for tribute!”
Well, it is some strange when India acts decisively and America dithers. Maybe we should excitedly denounce them in the UN and demand that they show more consideration for Third World Peoples.