Hijack ships kin seeks Centers intervention to save the Indian crew members on board

October 3rd, 2008 - 9:30 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

New Delhi , Oct 3 (ANI): Wife of the captain of the ship hijacked by armed Somalian pirates in the Gulf of Aden on Friday sought intervention of Central government in rescuing the 18 Indian crew members on board the hijacked ship.

Seema Goyal, wife of Prabhat Goyal, captain of hijacked ship MT Stolt Valor, ran from pillar to post trying to meet different ministers over past two days to seek their assistance in resolving the crisis.

She welcomed the statement of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh that government would look into the matter to pave the way for negotiations.

Reacting to Defence Minister’’s statement, assuring that the government will seek international help in this matter as optimistic, Seema said things were beginning to look up.

Two-day meeting in the ministry and running around with people has really made the things follow up and things are rolling into place. And after the statement of the Prime Minister that “we will look into the matter, so that negotiations take place at the earliest” and then Antony ‘’s statement that we would take international aid to save our 18 soldiers is definitely a positive note. Yes the government is rolling now and I would like all the ministers whether it is Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Pranab Mukherjee and Antony, taking personal interest and get the negotiation done fast so that our people can come back home. Today is the twentieth day and each hour and each day we are counting is devastating. Please help us and get our people back home, said Seema.

The seafarers on board M. T. Stlot Valor have been held hostage by the pirates who hijacked the cargo ship on September 15.

The ship is owned by a Japanese company and managed by Fleet Marine Limited in Mumbai. The hijackers had earlier demanded a ransom of six million dollar for the release of the crew and later came down to 2.5 million dollar.

Somali waters are one of the most dangerous in the world for pirate attacks. The International Maritime Bureau reported more than 24 known attacks in the area between April and June, and more have been committed in recent months.

Maritime experts say many attacks go unreported along Somalia ‘’s 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) of coast, which is infested with pirates who operate high-powered speedboats and carry heavy machine guns and rocket launchers.

Somali pirates are holding 13 vessels captive at the moment, along with more than 200 sailors.

Some top global shipping groups had urged the world’’s naval powers to commit more warships to patrol the commercially strategic Gulf of Aden to counter rising levels of piracy off the coast of Somalia . (ANI)

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