India to take up sea piracy issue at IMO meet

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 28, 2011 Published on April 28, 2011

India will take up the issue of growing incidents of piracy in the Indian Ocean at the meeting of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London next month, according to Mr S. B. Agnihotri, Director General of Shipping.

Mr Agnihotri told this to a delegation representing seafarers, ship owners, ship managers and agents after they took out a peace march to his office on Wednesday.

The march was jointly organised by various organisations including Maritime Union of India, National Union of Seafarers of India and Indian National Shipowners Association.

Mr Agnihotri said the safety committee of IMO is expected to discuss the issue of providing armed guards on board merchant ships.

In a petition submitted to the DG Shipping, the delegation highlighted the case of the Panama flag vessel ‘Asphalt Venture', which was hijacked by pirates in last September.

Even after receiving the ransom amount, the pirates released the ship along a with only eight crew members, including the captain, but held back seven others, who are Indians.

It is believed that this was done in retaliation to the arrest of some Somali pirates by the Indian Navy in recent weeks.

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Published on April 28, 2011
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