Family of Indian hostage held by Somali pirates hoping for government aid

February 21st, 2011 - 8:39 pm ICT by ANI  

Patna, Feb.21 (ANI): The family of Prashant Kumar, an Indian held hostage by Somali pirates, is hoping the government will step in and offer the required assistance to secure his release.

Somali pirates had hijacked the M V Sinin, a Maltese-flagged bulk carrier with 23 crew including 10 Indians, on February 13, and Kumar was among the detained.

Speaking to mediapersons on Monday, Kumar’s wife, Prerna Kumari, said she had appealed to the government to rescue all the detained crew.

“I appeal to the government to rescue all the crew members and also those people who were detained earlier. And they must make sure that such incidents should not happen again in the future,” she said.

Kumar’s family told mediapersons that on February 14, he had called his wife and told her that the vessel had been hijacked.

He again called on February 19, and told his family the ship has been captured by Somali pirates.

Vineeta Devi, Kumar’s aunt, said they have pinned their hopes on the state and federal governments.

“Till now, we haven’t got any help or any assurance from government but we hope that the state and central governments will help us to get our child back. We want the government along with the shipping company to find a solution because such an incident has not happened for the first time. For us, this is the only way out and they should do something as soon as possible,” said Devi.

Pirate attacks have been growing exponentially since 2007, as young Somalis in small skiffs with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades take to the water to seek their fortunes.

Their first targets were local dhows and cargo ships, often UN World Food Programme ships delivering food to stem the humanitarian crisis fed by Somalia’s ongoing instability.

But despite a growing presence from international navies, they have since pushed further into the Indian Ocean, making the entire region a “war risk zone” in the eyes of insurers. (ANI)

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