Surrendered 35 pirates handed over to police in Mumbai

The Indian navy’s INS Kolkata returned on Saturday, March 23, to Mumbai with the 35 surrendered pirates and handed them over to the local police for further legal action in accordance with Indian laws, specifically the Maritime Anti Piracy Act 2022, the spokesperson of the Indian navy said on Saturday.

On March 23, 2024, the Indian navy also celebrated the completion of 100 days of the ongoing maritime security operations under the aegis of ‘Op Sankalp’.

During this time, the Indian navy has responded to 18 incidents and has played a pivotal role as the ‘First Responder’ and ‘Preferred Security Partner’ in the Indian Ocean Region.

The significance of the navy’s contributions has been further underscored with the culmination of actions against the hijacking of the Malta-flagged bulk carrier MV Ruen on December 14 last year.

Since the last 100 days, the naval ships, aircraft and special forces have demonstrated, as the Indian navy claims, an “unflinching resolve to secure the seas and protect the maritime community from various non-traditional threats present in the region.”

Based on the threat assessment in the region, the Indian navy is conducting maritime security operations in three areas of operations viz Gulf of Aden and adjoining areas, Arabian Sea and off the East Coast of Somalia.

According to the Indian ministry of defence, the “arduous efforts of the Indian navy since December 23 involved deployment of over 5000 personnel at sea, over 450 ship days, with over 21 ships deployed, and 900 hours of flying by the maritime surveillance aircraft to address threats in the maritime domain.”

With the emergence of piracy in 2008, the Indian ocean region has witnessed steady increase in the presence of warships from regional and extra regional navies, operating independently or under the ambit of various multi-national constructs.

As it is reported by the ministry, the Indian navy all this period of time has taken the ‘lead’ in responding to security situations arising out of a myriad of threats in the region.

“With over 110 lives saved (including 45 Indian seafarers), 15 lakh tons of critical commodities escorted (such as fertilisers, crude oil and finished products), nearly 1000 boarding operations undertaken, more than 3000 kgs of narcotics seized and over 450 MVs assured of IN’s presence, the ongoing maritime security operations have truly reflected Indian navy’s capability in playing a vital role as a strong and a responsible Navy in the IOR,” reads the statement of the defence ministry.