The Union Minister of Shipping, Shri G.K. Vasan informed the Lok Sabha today in a written reply to a question that no Indian Merchant Ship has been hijacked during the last three years.
The Minister further stated that the Government has initiated various preventive / mitigating security measures for combating piracy which include the following:
– An Inter-Ministerial Group of Officers (IMGO) has been set up to deal with hostage situation arising out of the hijacking of merchant vessels with Indian crew on board.
– Issuance of Notices by Director General of Shipping detailing elaborate anti-piracy measures (Best Management Practices) including safe house/citadel.
– Banning of sailing vessels to ply in waters south or west of the line joining Salalah and Male vide M.S. Notice 3/2010 dated 31/3/2010.
– Naval escort provided by Indian Naval Ships in Gulf of Aden.
– Enhanced vigil by Indian Navy in Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and estward up to 65 degree east longitude.
– Active participation in International Maritime Organization and Contact Group on Piracy off the coast of Somalia (CGPCS) and other international forums.
– Submission of Document 27/9/1 at the IMO Assembly for flag states to provide information on welfare of captive crew, efforts of release and also on continued payment of their wages.
Source: GovIndia, March 19, 2012