MV Suez: Deadline for Indian sailors ends today

Six Indians are on board an Egyptian cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

Updated: Mar 09, 2011, 11:20 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Even as the government’s puts in efforts to secure their safe release, the fate of six Indian sailors on board MV Suez hangs in balance as the final deadline set by the Somali pirates expires Wednesday.

The Somali pirates had hijacked Egyptian cargo ship MV Suez in the Gulf of Aden on August 2, 2010. Besides the six Indians, the ship’s crew includes four Pakistanis, four Sri Lankans and 11 Egyptians.

The pirates have reportedly demanded $4 million for the release of the six Indians.

Families of the kidnapped sailors have appeal for immediate action to secure their release.

Last week, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna met some of the family members of Indian sailors who were on board the cargo ship hijacked, and assured them of all possible help from the ministry while noting that the shipping ministry was the nodal authority in such cases.

The Minister said the safety and welfare of Indians was the highest priority of the government.

Arya Sampa, wife of captured sailor Ravinder Gulia, after meeting Krishna, said the minister “has assured of all help“.

Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said, “Owner of MV Suez, owned by an Egyptian company, had promised to take action to free hostages but nothing was done. The DG Shipping continues his efforts.”