The recent attacks on merchant navy ships MV Chem Pluto and MV Sai Baba have been seriously noted by the Indian government. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on Tuesday (26 December), assured that stringent action will be taken against the perpetrators, promising to locate them even from the "depths of seas".
Following the inauguration of the stealth-guided missile destroyer INS Imphal, Singh stated that India has stepped up its sea patrolling efforts in response to the recent attacks on merchant navy vessels, The Hindu reported.
Singh stated that the Indian government is treating the drone assault on MV Chem Pluto and the attack on MV Saibaba in the Red Sea with utmost gravity. He pledged to locate the individuals responsible for the recent assaults on merchant navy vessels, even if it means searching the depths of the seas, and to take severe action against them.
The MV Chem Pluto, carrying 21 Indian crew members, was hit by a drone approximately 217 nautical miles away from Porbandar on Saturday. In response to this incident, the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard swiftly mobilized several resources to aid the ship.
A commercial crude oil tanker flying the Gabon flag, manned by 25 Indian crew members, was allegedly targeted by a drone attack in the Southern Red Sea. It was later clarified by Indian officials that the vessel was not under the Indian flag, despite the crew's nationality.
In the meantime, Admiral R Hari Kumar, the Chief of Navy, announced the deployment of four destroyers to combat piracy and drone assaults on commercial vessels.
He stated that a combined deployment of P-8I aircraft, Dorniers, Sea Guardians, helicopters, and Coast Guard ships has been implemented to combat the risks associated with piracy and drone attacks.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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