Dhumal pleads for Himachal sailor’s release by Somali pirates

August 30th, 2012 - 7:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Aug 30 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal Thursday pleaded with the central government to secure freedom for sailor Aman Kumar, who is held captive by Somali pirates for the past 20 months.

Replying to a calling attention motion in the assembly Thursday, Dhumal said he took up the matter with union Minister of Shipping G.K. Vasan Aug 16.

“Even the chief secretary took up the issue with the secretary of the shipping ministry, Pradeep K. Sinha, Aug 23. We hope that the government of India will take necessary steps to get him released,” the chief minister said, while replying to the motion of Congress member G.S. Bali.

The Somali pirates hijacked Malaysian-flagged cargo ship MV Albedo Nov 26, 2010, near the Maldives in the Indian Ocean with all its 23 crew members, comprising seven Sri Lankans, five Bangladeshis, two Indians and seven Pakistanis. One Indian from Kolkata has already died.

Bali said as per his information, the pirates have demanded a huge sum of money for Arun Kumar’s release.

“Many of the captured persons have been released. His poor parents have not only approached the chief minister but also have been writing to the president, the prime minister and several ministers concerned, but to no avail,” he said.

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