Ministries discuss piracy, deployment of guards on vessels

The meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar was attended by senior officials of several ministries including Defence, Home Affairs, External Affairs and Shipping.

Last Updated: May 06, 2011, 20:06 PM IST

New Delhi: The problem of piracy and ways
of dealing with it, including deployment of armed guards on
board merchant vessels, were discussed on Friday in a high level
meeting of various ministries here.

The meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary KM
Chandrasekhar was attended by senior officials of several
ministries including Defence, Home Affairs, External Affairs
and Shipping, sources said here.

"The Navy has said that though it is not against the
deployment of armed guards on the merchant vessels but there
were complexities involved in allowing the initiative
forwarded by the Shipping Ministry," they said.

"It has also made a set of suggestions about the
precautions to be taken if the government allows merchant
vessels to have armed guards while faring in high seas,"
the sources said.

The Shipping Ministry had proposed allowing armed
guards to man merchant ships in order to protect them from
pirates.

They said a decision on this issue would be taken
after discussions among ministries of law, defence and
shipping.

The armed guards on ships would be somewhat similar to
the sky marshals deployed on commercial aircraft.

The government is also working on a legislation to
deal with pirates.

PTI