Antony: No military action against pirates
As the families of sailors kidnapped by Somalian pirates mount pressure for their release, the Central Government has ruled out any dramatic military operation to rescue the six Indians, held captive six months ago ,but ensured diplomatic efforts to bring them back.
An Indian Naval warship routinely patrols the Gulf of Aden, the hotbed of piracy activities, and buccaneers have been engaged also in a fire-fight on several occasions, but New Delhi is not willing to launch any military offensive to get its citizens released.Defence Minister A K Antony admitted that the pirates continued to operate despite the presence of 18 navies in the region, and even termed it as sorry state of affair.
While some other countries have challenged the pirates in an offensive action to get hostages released, India is not willing to take this path.The message from the Ministry of Defence also made the government’s no-military intervention policy. The clarification was necessary to set to rest anticipations by the families ofthe sailing community. The Navy said the Government had to make up its mind whether to send the Forces to the region or not. Antony also met family members of the six sailors who were held hostage after their Egyptian-owned cargo ship MV Suez was hijacked in August, 2010. Apart from the six Indians, the crew included four Pakistanis and 12 Egyptians. A military action by India also becomes complicated in this case as the ship is foreign owned and the citizens of other countries are also among the hostages.The family stepped up its efforts as the hijackers had threatened to kill them if their demand for ransom was not met.
After the families had complained that there was no help from the Government, three ministers - External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, Defence Minister A K Antony and Shipping Minister G K Vasan - met them and promised that steps were being taken to secure their release.“We have been running after the Government for the last eight months, but nothing has been done. My husband had been in the government for 30 years.They should do something now,” said Kantidevi Tiwari, mother of Dhiraj Tiwari, mother of a Merchant Navy officer.They were told that Government was in touch with the ship owner and a contact was also being established with the pirates.