Somali pirates free one of eight Indian boats

Last Updated: Saturday, April 3, 2010 - 23:56

Ahmedabad/New Delhi: A week after seizing
eight Indian vessels with about 100 sailors on board, Somalian
pirates have released one of the boats along with 15 people
on board.

India has approached Somalian government for help to
ensure the release of the remaining dhows and around 85
Indians still in the captivity of pirates.

The spree of hijackings over the last one week has
triggered concerns as the incidents took place quite away from
the Gulf of Aden near the Somalian coast which is notorious
for piracy.

The eight Indian dhows, slow moving vessels, with about
100 sailors on board, were captured by the pirates on March
27-28.

One of those, with 15 sailors on board, has been
released and is on its way to India, president of Kutch
Vahanvati Association (KVA) Kasam Ali Bholim said in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

The vessel `Krishna Jyot`, which is registered in
Veraval in Gujarat, has been released by Somalian pirates as
there was not much fuel in the dhow, he told PTI.

He said the association has not had any communication
about other dhows and hostages.

Sailors of the released boat informed the Association
when they came to Socotra island off the coast of Somalia
after they were released, Bholim said, adding it was at
present near Socotra Island close to Somalia for re-fuelling.

Sources in Delhi said the Ministry of External Affairs
has sought the help from Somalia and is working with other
countries to see an end to piracy.

The merchandise conducted on seas is worth about USD 110
billion annually, with Indians being the major players.

India has positioned a naval warship in the Gulf of Aden
region since October 2008 to provide escort to Indian merchant
ships. However, the latest hijackings took place far away from
the Gulf of Aden, indicating that the pirates are operating
much beyond.

Sources said there were indications that the pirates
were operating in south of the Indian Ocean as Maldives has
spotted some of them.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, April 3, 2010 - 23:56

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