Kochi: The Somalians taken into custody
by Indian Navy off Kavaratti coast are being questioned to
identify if they are pirates, a top official said on Saturday.
The Somalians, who are being brought to Kochi on board
naval warship INS Sujata will be handed over to police.
"Till now we have not identified them as pirates. They
are Somalian nationals found abandoned," Flag Officer
Commanding in Chief of Southern Naval Command, Vice Admiral K
N Sushil told reporters here.
"They were active for at least 10 days in the area.
They had a mother ship or control ship. We have to collect
further evidence to corroborate on what they are telling. More
information will be available only after detailed
interrogation," he said.
"We have been observing that due to increased
patrolling along the Somalian coast, pirates had shifted their
activities from Somalian coast to Mauritius and Sychelles. Now
they are moving upwards. Earlier,there have been 13 incidents
of piracy within 400 metres of Lakshadweep, the Vice Admiral
Navy, Coastguard and Lakshadweep police had launched
intense combing operations in the Lakshadweep waters after
three Somalians landed at Minicoy island in Lakshadweep on
Wednesday after abandoning their boat. They were too weak to
talk or walk and have been hospitalised at Minicoy government
The combing operations were launched in the waters
around Lakshadweep Islands following reports of sighting of a
suspicious boat about 5 km off Minicoy Island on May 26.
Following the search the abandoned boat was sighted
and three Somalians were found in an unconscious state at the
Northern end of Minicoy Island. A fourth Somalian is believed
to have drowned.
Few other Somalians were found in a boat yesterday in
the Lakshadweep waters and they are being brought to Kochi.