New Delhi: Hinting at a possible link
between terror groups and Somali pirates, India on Tuesday pitched
for fighting the sea brigands under the aegis of the United
Defence Minister A K Antony said piracy can be tackled
effectively only by a combined global effort under the joint
operational command of the United Nations.
"We don`t think piracy menace is only because of Somali
pirates. There are more powerful groups and forces behind the
menace. They are somewhere else. There should be a Joint
Operational Command under the UN to tackle the issue," he told
a press conference here.
In the recent past, Indian agencies have been probing
possible links between terror groups such as al Qaeda and the
Pointing out that all the major navies of the world,
including the US, China, Russia and France were present in the
piracy-hit Gulf of Aden, Antony said despite that the piracy
menace was not yet under control.
"We feel unless there is combined action by all the
seafaring nations of world, it will be difficult to contain
piracy," he said.
On the proposed anti-piracy law to tackle pirates, Antony
said "we are in the process of finalising a new policy on
this issue and it will be finalised by the Cabinet Committee
on Security (CCS) very soon."
The Defence Minister was asked about the steps taken by
government to provide effective laws to the Navy and the Coast
Guard to tackle pirates as the Indian Penal Code does not have
any revision to deal with the issue.
In the absence of such a law, Navy and the Coast Guard
have to release pirates after disarming them and taking away
all the material which can be used by them for piracy.
Antony said when the international navies present in the
Gulf of Aden exert pressure on the pirates there, they tend to
come close to the Indian backyard near Lakshadweep and the
Indian Ocean Region.
India has been deploying at least one warship each in the
Gulf of Aden to tackle pirates and have been successful in
thwarting several attacks on merchant ships.
Asked about the issue of killing of Indian fishermen by
the Sri Lankan Navy, the Minister said the issue has been
taken up with the Lankan government through proper channel
to avoid such incidents.