Piracy: Govt plans weapons on merchant ships

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by Rage, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

    Feb 23, 2009
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    Piracy: Govt plans weapons on merchant ships



    Two days after an uproar in Parliament over the plight of Indians held captive by Somali pirates, the government today announced a sweeping set of measures to tackle the crisis — from letting merchant ships carry arms to ensuring prompt action by the Navy.

    Making a statement in the Lok Sabha after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), Minister for External Affairs S M Krishna said that “actions” by the Ministries of Shipping, External Affairs and Defence would address the “legal, administrative and operational aspects of combating piracy”.

    Sources said that among the CCS’s decisions: merchant vessels with Indian flags will carry weapons; a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to be in place for the Indian Navy and coordination of the Navy’s activities with counterparts of friendly countries in the Gulf of Aden; the Navy will promptly act — without waiting for sanction — if any ship with Indian flag or Indians on board is attacked by pirates; in the event of a pirate attack, Committee of Secretaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary will serve as a crisis management group and coordinate with all agencies and relatives of hostages. An inter-ministerial group will be established under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary.


    As of now, 53 Indian seafarers are in captivity on five different ships. Krishna said that India would “intensify diplomatic efforts through consultations with the governments of Egypt and the UAE where the owners of vessels concerned reside, as well as with governments of other nationalities who are also being held hostage”. The government, he said, would step up “diplomatic efforts at the multilateral level and within the UN framework.”

    Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said the government should use UN mechanisms available on piracy and its victims.

  3. sandeepdg

    sandeepdg Senior Member Senior Member

    Sep 5, 2009
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    Navy, Coast Guard to get more teeth to tackle piracy

    NEW DELHI: India now plans to take the battle to the pirates, with measures finalized to give more operational and legal teeth to Navy and Coast Guard. This will enable the two maritime forces to operate "much more aggressively" against sea brigands on the high seas than ever before.

    Under the new "rules of engagement" and standard operating procedures firmed up, Indian warships will now engage or disable pirate ships in "a far more pro-active manner".

    "Till now, our warships were usually opening fire in self-defence or if pirates were found attacking or hijacking merchant vessels. The new measures will also include stepped-up VBSS (visit, board, search and seizure) operations. But force used will be proportional to resistance offered, in line with UN laws," said a source.

    There will also be some additional deployment of warships off the coast of Somalia as well as Arabian Sea to "sanitize" the routes being taken by Indian-flagged merchant vessels.

    With the government being criticized for its lackadaisical attitude to the entire piracy issue, and 53 Indian sailors still in the captivity of Somali pirates, the Cabinet Committee on Security met under PM Manmohan Singh on Friday to approve a slew of measures to take on the menace.

    These include more intensive diplomatic efforts, closer coordination with navies of "friendly foreign" countries operating in Gulf of Aden, stepped up contact with owners of hijacked ships, and creation of an inter-ministerial group (IMG) under the cabinet secretary. "The IMG will act as the apex forum to monitor the early release of Indian ships, cargo or crew," said foreign minister S M Krishna.

  4. ace009

    ace009 Freakin' Fighter fan Elite Member

    Sep 15, 2010
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    New England, USA
    I think India should either develop a rapid marine response force or let private security to be placed on Merchant Ships flying Indian colors?

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