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MV Abdullah hijack

Indian Navy to launch rescue operation

Published : 17 Mar 2024 10:34 PM

Indian Navy are planning to conduct special operation to rescue the Bangladeshi flagged commercial ship MV Abdullah which was hijacked by the Somalian pirates in the Indian Ocean on March 12.

Somalian Puntland Ports Minister Ahmed Yasin Salah disclosed it, according to a BBC report. 

The Somalian Mminister said just like the previous rescue operation for hijacked MV Ruen, Indian Navy are planning to carry out an operation to rescue the ship and the crew on board.

"We shall not allow pirates to make the Puntland coast a safe heaven for pirates,” he added. 

“We have informed our friends on the coast that pirates should not be given an opportunity to increase their attacks.” 

Rear Admiral (retd) Khorshed Alam, secretary of the Ministry of 

Foreign Affairs' maritime unit, however, said  a ship from the European Maritime Forces and a warship from the Indian Navy sought permission to launch a rescue operation for the crew members right after Somalian pirates hijacked MV Abdullah, but the foreign ministry opted against any armed intervention.

SR Shipping, the owner of the hijacked ship, is also opposed such operation fearing the loss of lives of the 23 crew members. 

"A military operation always carries the risk of casualties on board. Given that the ship owner has agreed to pay the ransom, there was no need for such action," said Khorshed Alam.He also said that there is hardly any record of rescuing abducted sailors unharmed through military operations.

Meherul Karim, Chief Executive Officer of SR Shipping, confirmed the refusal to authorise a military operation to rescue MV Abdullah. 

"The safety of our crew members is our top priority. We couldn't afford to risk the lives of our sailors, so we declined to accept the proposal for any risky operation," he said. 

Karim also mentioned ongoing efforts to establish contact with the pirates through various international agencies despite not getting any ransom demand from them yet.

He also said the ship's captain communicated by satellite phone with the company on Sunday. 

"He informed us that all the crew members are fine and the pirates are behaving well with the hostages," Karim said.