|Indian Navy doing operation off Somalian coast|
Left: INS Tabar (Talwar class frigate)
Right: INS Mysore (Delhi Class Destroyer)
Somalians who live in this war torn country have found a new profession taking advantage of this strategic route. The profession of Pirate. As the Ethiopian troops withdrew from Somalia, much of the Somalian land fell into the hands of Islamic militants who work, fund and take commission from these pirates to fund their terror activities around the world.
Cases of piracy began to increase, the situation had become so bad that group of navies of different countries started joint patrolling the area to protect their as well as foreign merchant vessels. As the world community and traders were coping with the piracy situation, Indian Navy voluntarily took the leading role in the war against Piracy. On october 2008, India sent INS Tabar, a Talwar class frigate and now it is accompanied by INS Mysore, a Delhi class destroyer. India has captured more than 100 pirates and escorted a number of merchant vessels safely through the gulf of Aden.
Seeing India's active participation in anti piracy efforts, Somalian government allowed India to enter their waters upto 12 nautical miles, thus India has become the third country after US and France whose navy are allowed inside Somalian waters.
India's increasing intervention has attracted the attention of Somalian pirates. Pirates have now started targeting Indian ships and the ships with Indian crew specially.
Somalian pirates captured Indian ships and made the crew hostage, on the other hand Indian navy captured 61 pirates from Arabian sea. Owners of the Indian vessel had to pay the high ransom demanded by the pirates to release the ship and the crew, but later Pirates dramatically refused to release the Indian crew even after the ransom was paid. Calling it as a war against India, they demanded the release all the pirates locked in Indian jails. Indian owners are deeply disappointed as the pirates didn't keep their words.
"They[Indian Government] better release them [jailed Pirates in India], considering their[Indians] people traveling in the waters, or we shall jail their people like that," he said. "We are first sending a message to the Indian government of releasing our friends in their hands or else they have to be ready for their citizens to be mistreated in the near future." as quoted by Salon.
Following this, Indian Navy has moved closer to the shore of Somalia. Indian Navy has been granted full autonomy in anti piracy efforts, that means the navy doesn't have to wait for the orders from the headquarters.
Indian Navy is currently gathering intelligence and pressurizing the pirates to release the sailors without harming anyone. The navy is currently avoiding raiding the base of the pirates, but has kept all options open.
Anti Piracy operation in gulf of Aden is India's first ever naval mission far from Indian/Pakistani waters which involves actual attacking and sinking of enemy vessels. The war against Somalian pirates is in the interest of international community, weak Somalian government and Indian business and Navy as well. Indian navy which is a true blue water navy has gained the status of being an international navy patrolling a vast area of pirate infested waters.
Saying war is not the solution, India has promised Somalian government that it will create a huge number of jobs in the country to improve the situation in the war torn horn of Africa. The country which is suffering from Islamic militants and piracy can only be helped if citizens are kept busy in something productive. Meanwhile Somalian government has assured India that it will do anything to help release of those captive sailors.
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