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No anti-pirate weaponry? No Indian sailors for you

The government of India is considering a proposal not to allow Indian sailors on ships that are not equipped to ward off pirate attacks.The proposal comes at a time when more than four dozen Indians are held hostage by Somalian pirates following attacks on various ships. Senior officials involved in discussions to get the sailors released said they had urged the Indian government to enforce stringent measures for recruitment of Indians on foreign ships. “One of the preventive mechanisms is deployment of armed guards on ships. So far we have not had a single incident of pirates hijacking an armed vessel. The Indian government can ensure that its nationals get employed only in such vessels,” the official said. Meanwhile, the Indian government has said that it is considering a proposal to deploy armed security guards on Indian merchant ships to thwart attacks by pirates in international waters. India’s Union Minister for Shipping G K Vasan, said that the government will shortly take a view on this aspect. According to him the Indian Navy has been carrying out anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since October 2008. A total number of 25 Indian Navy ships have been deployed in the Gulf of Aden and a total of 1,573 ships, including 1,402 foreign-flagged vessels from different countries, have been escorted by Indian Navy ships so far.

Date:06 Aug 2011                                                                           Source: Emirates 247

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