Indian-Pakistani efforts to free another pirate-held shipApril 17th, 2011 - 7:49 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, April 17 (IANS) As efforts are on to seek the release of seven Indian sailors held captive by Somali pirates on a Panama-flagged ship, an Indian MP and a Pakistani activist are going to Dubai Monday to try and free the 22-member crew of a hijacked Eygptian vessel that has six Indians on board, the parliamentarian said.
Rajya Sabha member K.D. Singh of the Trinamool Congress and Ansar Burney, Pakistan’s former federal minister for human rights, are gong to meet the Egyptian owner of captive vessel MV Suez.
The six Indians are among the 22 crew members, including Pakistanis, of MV Suez held captive by Somali pirates since August 2, 2010.
“I am going to Dubai tomorrow (Monday) to talk to the owner of the MV Suez. We would find out the ways to ensure safe release of Indian hostages who are in the captivity of the Somali pirates,” Singh told IANS here Sunday.
“There is a strong possibility that we would also start a dialogue with the pirates and finally decide the ransom amount. I have met the family members of Indian hostages and I understand their problem. I would try my level best to ensure their safe return home.”
Burney, who is a leading human rights activist, said: “Our trust has already got six complaints of the hijacked vessels with Indian, Pakistanis and other nationals on board. We are working hard to finish this menace and to get release all vessels and crew members.
“I am reaching Dubai tomorrow and hopeful that very soon MV Suez will be released by the pirates,” Burney told IANS over phone from Karachi.
Though the victim’s families have got some hope with this development, they are very unhappy with the attitude of the Indian government.
Sampa Arya, wife of one of the hostages, Ravinder Singh Gulia, said: “We are very disappointed with the attitude of government as we have not got any satisfactory reply from anywhere. We tried to meet Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi but all our efforts went in vain.
“Now we have got a slight hope as K.D. Singh and Ansar Burney are going to Dubai to talk to the ship owners and pirates. They are demanding a ransom money of around $4 million. There is a rough estimation that half of this amount will be given by the company and Burney trust will contribute half-a-million dollars.”
Besides Chandigarh chapter of Merchant Navy Officers’ Association (MNOA) is also making efforts at its end.
“We are creating awareness about this issue through demonstrations at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi and through peaceful protests. We are trying to create pressure on the government to come forward for the rescue of Indian sailors,” Ajit Singh, president of MNOA, Chandigarh, said.
“Talks are on to collect the ransom money through donations and contributions and MNOA can become the custodian of this money. But this would be a big decision and we have to open a special bank account for it. MNOA will hold a special meeting of its executive members in the coming days to decide on this issue,” said Singh.
- Abducted Indian sailors' families demand action from government - Mar 06, 2011
- Indian government did not contact us: Sailor's family - Jun 24, 2011
- Himachal family awaits return of sailor freed by pirates - Jun 14, 2011
- Somali pirates free Indians, government tightlipped about Pakistani help (Lead) - Jun 14, 2011
- Freed Indian sailors reach Delhi, thank Pakistan (Second Lead) - Jun 24, 2011
- India happy over its sailors' release by pirates - Jun 14, 2011
- Somali pirates release 6 Indian sailors - Jun 14, 2011
- BJP thanks Pakistani activist, not navy, for saving Indian sailors - Jun 24, 2011
- Family of Haryana sailor ecstatic over his safe return - Jun 24, 2011
- Four Pakistani sailors released by Somali pirates - Jun 14, 2011
- Freed Indian sailors reach Delhi, thank Pakistan (Lead) - Jun 24, 2011
- Freed merchant vessel crew safely proceeding to Oman: Government - Jun 15, 2011
- Thanks to Pakistan, Indian sailors gain freedom (Roundup) - Jun 14, 2011
- Fresh pirate attack on freed vessel, India rushes warship (Second Lead) - Jun 15, 2011
- Pakistani sailors' families welcome release by pirates - Jun 14, 2011
Tags: ansar burney, captivity, crew members, eygptian, federal minister, gulia, human rights activist, indian government, indian hostages, member crew, pakistanis, parliamentarian, rahul gandhi, rajya sabha member, safe return, satisfactory reply, somali pirates, sonia gandhi, suez, trinamool congress