Efforts are on to free eight Indian sailors being held by Somali pirates, according to Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan.
Speaking after commissioning Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Rajdhwaj here on Wednesday, Vasan said of the eight sailors, seven were taken hostage while they were onboard MT Asphalt Venture, while one was held hostage on the Malaysian vessel M V Albedo.
Vasan said his ministry along with the ministry of external affairs and various other agencies was pursuing the issue to free the sailors from the pirates.
The minister also said the captured pirates in Indian jails would be tried under Indian laws and punished.
Vasan also said a total of 375 foreign crew members and 61 foreign boats were captured by the Indian Coast Guard in Indian waters this year. He said of these, 275 crew members and 51 boats are from Sri Lanka.
Earlier, he commissioned ICGS Rajdhwaj, the eighth in the series of Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV) built indigenously by Garden Reach Shipbuilders Engineers, Kolkata.
The minister expressed concern over delay in supplying the ship by the shipyard and urged them to deliver it on time.
Director general of coastguard Anurag G Thapliyal said the ship on joining the coast guard fleet would enhance coast guard capability in furthering the mandate of maritime safety and security on the eastern sea board.