Indian Navy touts ‘significant success’ in fighting pirates

India has deployed naval vessels in the eastern Arabian Sea and has achieved “significant success” in the past few months combating piracy in the area as pirates have extended their activities further from the coast of Somalia, Admiral Nirmal Verma, chief of staff of the Indian Navy, said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

“Significant success in disrupting pirate action groups in the east Arabian Sea has been achieved in recent months” after India sent its naval vessels to the area to counter an increase in pirate activity there, first noticed in November of last year, the admiral said.

Speaking to RIA Novosti in his office in New Delhi, Verma explained that pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the east Arabian Sea had changed tactics and were now often targeting larger ships to hijack and use as temporary bases, making it necessary for the navies of India and other countries to adjust their deployments accordingly to counteract the pirates.

“Efforts of international navies have been quite effective in bringing down the success rates of piracy. Action by navies has considerably restricted freedom of operations to the pirates and has deterred and dissuaded them from carrying out attacks in areas where navies are currently deployed,” Verma said.

India started anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden in October 2008.

Since then, the Indian Navy has continuously maintained at least one ship on patrol in the region on a rotation basis. The Indian warships have ensured safe passage of over 1,600 commercial vessels from 50 different countries.

“No ship under Indian Naval escort has been hijacked and Indian Naval units have disrupted a total of 31 piracy attempts,” Verman said.

In addition, since 2009, the Indian Navy has also deployed ships and aircraft regularly for anti-piracy patrols in the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) of certain nations in the Indian Ocean Region on the request of these governments.

NEW DELHI, June 6 (RIA Novosti)

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