The Indian Navy is in a dilemma on what to do with pirates captured in the sea, as countries along Gulf of Aden have refused to take in the sea brigands as their courts and prisons are overflowing.
Speaking to reporters after delivering the Navy Day message, which is celebrated on December 4, Commodore Amar K Mahadevan, Naval officer in charge Tamilnadu and Puducherry, said that 160 pirates were languishing in Indian prisons, as countries like Seychelles or Kenya or other countries along the Gulf of Aden refused to take them in.
‚ÄúWe don‚Äôt know what to do with the pirates after arresting them in the Gulf of Aden,‚Äù says the officer.
He added that many other security agencies disarmed the pirates and incapacitate them and provided them with fuel and water so that they can get to the nearest port.
Till now piracy has been dealt with under the provisions of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the century-old Admiralty Law, which proved incompatible to the growing scope of this threat.
To handle pirates effectively under Indian laws, a maritime bill is on the anvil to help maritime agencies, granting more powers to the Navy and the Coast Guard to deal with the sea brigands.Mahadevan also recounted an incident in which the Indian Navy came to the rescue of a Chinese ship, which even won accolades from the Chinese government.
Mahadevan said that a total of 2600 ships (including 300 Indian vessels) had been escorted by Indian Navy ships through the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC), since 2008, when Indian Navy commenced anti piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden.
He also said that there was a proposal to have armed guards in merchant ships, while sailing along the Gulf of Aden.
The Ministry of Shipping has estimated that Indian imports and exports through the Gulf of Aden is about $50 billion and $60 billion respectively and the safety of maritime trade through this route is of primary concern, as it directly impacts the Indian economy. Commodore Mahadevan said that two Japanese Navy ships would be visiting Chennai by the end of this month for an interaction with Indian Navy.