Prosecuting pirates in India a problem: Navy Chief

Last Updated: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 21:56

New Delhi: After nearly two years of active
anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia, Navy has
found it difficult to prosecute the sea brigands its warships
apprehend as there is no provision under the Indian laws.

Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said here today that
there was a problem in India as there were no laws to
prosecute the pirates caught in the high seas by the Indian
warships.
"There is a problem in India on legal aspects. Our laws
do not cover this (piracy) aspects. If you bring them and
cannot prosecute them, then they have to go free," he said at
his annual press conference.

Indian Navy has been deploying its warships in the Gulf
of Aden since October 2008 and has escorted over 1350 warships
in the region with not one of them coming under attack.

It has also warded off about nearly two dozen pirate
attack on merchant vessels, both Indian and foreign-flagged,
after they sent out a distress call.

Giving the example of Western countries, which also have
ships patrolling the pirate-infested waters, Verma said they
are funding the prosecution of the pirates they nab in Kenyan
courts, which had laws for this purpose.

"Others do as we do...throw their fuel and weapons
overboard and let them drift in the seas," he added.
"The Navy has discharged its responsibilities with
distinction and we continue to have a ship on patrol in the
Gulf of Aden escorting merchant ships in direct coordination
with the Director General Shipping," he said.

"At least 22 piracy attempts have been averted by the
Indian Navy`s ships patrolling the Gulf of Aden. India is
engaged with other countries on capacity building and
consultations in the area of anti-piracy for keeping access
points open and avoid choking of international trade," he
added.

Late last month, the Navy also deployed a large force in
the Arabian Sea about 300 to 400 nautical miles off India`s
western coast to carry out patrols after several incidents of
piracy attempts were reported and reports of pirate movement
started coming in.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 2, 2010 - 21:56

comments powered by Disqus