New Delhi: The daredevil act of Somali pirates not releasing hostages despite ransom paid to them might have given a major blow to the efforts by India, but the government is unlikely to take the crisis Kandhar way. Official sources indicate that the government is unlikely to release pirates in exchange of hostages.
 
The attempts being made to handle the crisis indicate that while proactive measures are being adopted for earliest release of hostages, Indian Navy has also diverted a warship off Somalia coast to keep a close eye on piracy.

In the absence of any legal system to handle the sea-hostage crisis in the country, the situation has to be resolved on the basis of the anti-hijacking policy of civil aviation that came into existence after the IC-814 hijacking episode. That in effect means, there is no scope left for releasing the captured Somali pirates in exchange of the hostages.

However, the Indian government wants to play safe and does not want to come on the forefront itself. Infact, the ship owners would spearhead the government’s new efforst to negotiate with the pirates. Governmnet exuded confidence that their efforts would bear fruits within 2-3 days. 

Meanwhile, a Talwar-class guided missile warship has been rushed to the Somali coast to monitor the situation. Deployed in the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden since October 2010, the Talwar-class warship has not only failed major attacks of pirates but has also destroyed their ship.

The pirates, who were holding the crew hostage since September last year, released eight of the 15 Indian crew of the merchant vessel Asphalt Venture on Friday after ship owner paid the ransom.

However, they refused to free seven Indian nationals reportedly seeking to use them as a lever to seek release of over 120 of their comrades held in India after they were captured by the navy in the Indian Ocean over the last six months.

(JPN/Bureau)