New Delhi: With 53 Indians being held by
Somalian pirates, the Cabinet Committee on Security on Friday
decided on a slew of medium and long term measures including
stepped up diplomatic efforts and coordination between navies
of India and friendly countries to fight the menace of piracy.
The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,
decided to set up an Inter Ministerial Group under the Cabinet
Secretary to act an apex forum to monitor early release of
Indian ships or crew or cargo.
"The Cabinet Committee on Security met today and
considered proposals with regard to conduct of anti-piracy
operations in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia,"
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said in Lok Sabha.
"The Committee approved a series of measures which will be
taken by the government to address the legal, administrative
and operational aspects of combating piracy. A broad policy
framework covering all these aspects was approved," he said,
adding this would involve medium and long term actions to be
taken by Ministries of Shipping, External Affairs and Defence.
He noted that as many as 53 Indian sea-farers on five
ships are still in the captivity of Somalian pirates.
The meeting decided to intensify diplomatic efforts
through consultations with Governments of Egypt and UAE where
the owners of the vessels concerned reside, as also
governments of other nationalities who were also being held
Government also decided to intensify diplomatic efforts at
the multilateral level and within the UN framework.
The CCS also decided to formulate suitable standard
operating procedures for the Indian Navy and coordination of
its activities with its counterparts of friendly foreign
countries in the Gulf of Aden, Krishna said.
On the Inter Ministerial Group, he said it would monitor
early release of Indian ships and crew and consider welfare
measures necessitated after the release of the captured Indian
The CCS expressed sympathy with the families of the
hostages and decided that the government would take all
appropriate actions to safeguard their welfare, Krishna said.