More Navy warships in Gulf of Aden to fight pirates

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi, Nov 20 | Updated: Nov 22 2008, 04:35am hrs
Indian Navy is planning to deploy more warships in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia for anti-piracy operations.

According to senior naval officers speaking on the conditions of anonymity, in one of the busiest and the most pirates infested waterways, the Indian Navy will be deploying more warships in the region.

Navy officials also met defence minister AK Antony on Thursday to discuss the developments in the wake of INS Tabar destroying the pirates mother ship. An important route for oil supplies to India, the shipping ministry has sought deployment of at least four warships in the region for anti-piracy operations.

Infact, ministry of external affairs has justified naval action against Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden. N Ravi, secretary (east), MEA said, As far as incident of yesterday is concerned, the Indian boat took retaliatory action because they were fired at. And after I think giving reasonable warning, they retaliated and the result was that one of the so-called mother ships apparently sank. But it is still a report. So, effectively there are already two resolutions of UN which permit all nations, all the countries to take recourse to a particular method by which they can deal with this problem.

We recognise that one ship has some successes but it is not the answer. We are looking at how to augment Indian Navys assets there. Proposals from many quarters including the shipping ministry and merchant associations are pending, the official here said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Following this realisation, India has sought an international arrangement, preferably under the United Nations, to have a collaborative effort to ward off the menace in the sea brigand-infested international waters of the Arabian Sea. Besides increasing its assets, the Indian Navy is also seeking joint operations in the region to successfully combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden, after the International Maritime Bureau has termed the situation out of control.

Combating piracy in the region requires phenomenal efforts as it covers an area of 2.5 million square nautical miles, the naval officer pointed out. Adding, No single navy can commit an indefinite amount of assets. But the efforts have to come from everywhere. Under the collaborative approach, a multinational force under the unified command of the UN is the only feasible solution, the official added.

For India, monitoring the waters off Africas east coast forms an essential part of securing its energy supplies.