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Ship crew safe, negotiations on with pirates: Krishna

All Indian nationals on board a ship taken hostage by Somali pirates are safe and negotiation for an early release of the crew is on, foreign minister Krishna told Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Friday.



Patna: All Indian nationals on board a
ship taken hostage by Somali pirates are safe and negotiation
for an early release of the crew is on, foreign minister
Krishna told Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on Friday, allaying concerns
about the safety of the people from the state.

Krishna said that Kumar Prashant from Bihar and 23
others on the ship belonging to Irano-Hind Shipping Company
were safe.
"As per information conveyed by our mission in Tehran,
the owners of the ship last spoke to the pirate negotiator on
March 2, 2011 and he confirmed that all the crew were safe,"
Krishna said in his letter dated March 18, copies of which
were released to the press today.

Negotiations with the pirates were being handled by a
committee headed by the managing director of the Iran-based
shipping company, it said.

Nitish Kumar in his letter to Krishna on February 22 had
requested the Centre to take all steps for the early release
of Prashant and other hostages.

Prashant, a local lad, is among the hostages of MV Sinan
that was seized by pirates off the coast of Somalia on
February 7 and he along with 23 others are being held hostage
by them.
"Abduction of Prashant apart from being a heartrending
calamity for his wife and infant child, might demotivate
others who might be thinking of merchant navy as a career
option," Nitish had said.

PTI

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