New Delhi: Fate of seven Indians kidnapped four years ago by pirates operating off Somalia and Nigerian coasts remains unknown and the past six years have seen the abduction of over 400 nationals, the government has said.
A total of 416 Indian crew were kidnapped in 42 incidents reported between 2008 and April this year. Of the total cases, a maximum of 10 such incidents were reported in 2010 (in which 100 crew were kidnapped), followed by nine in 2011 (87 detenus) and five each in 2008, 2009 and 2012 in which 63, 47 and 43 Indians were held by the pirates, it said in reply to an RTI query.
Whereas, four each such cases were reported in 2013 and January and April 2014, in which 46 and 30 Indians respectively were held captive by the pirates, the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) said.
Almost all of those kidnapped, except seven, were released by the kidnappers in these incidents after being held captive. A total of 15 Indians onboard 'Asphalt Venture' vessel were kidnapped on September 29, 2010. Eight of them were released after 198 days of captivity. "Seven crew still held captive," it said.
The Directorate, which comes under the Shipping Ministry, declined to give names and addresses of the persons detained citing exemption clause of the transparency law.
"It may please be noted that the name and address of person (s) held captive or abducted as sought by you is personal information which would cause invasion of privacy and therefore exemption under Section 8 (j) (of the RTI Act) is invoked for this purpose," the DGS said in reply to the RTI query filed by PTI.
The Section bars information disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual.