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INS Rajput intercepts foreign dhow
KOCHI, DEC 4 (IANS):
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Published on 4 Dec. 2010 11:02 PM IST
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An Indian Navy warship on anti-piracy patrol in the Arabian Sea intercepted a foreign dhow sailing suspiciously off Lakshadweep Islands and apprehended 19 people on board, a spokesperson said Saturday.
The spokesperson said destroyer INS Rajput was on patrol off the Bitra Island Friday afternoon when it spotted the dhow.
“At around 1400 hours yesterday, INS Rajput was on anti-piracy combing operations in the eastern Arabian Sea and it apprehended a suspicious dhow in the Exclusive Economic Zone, west of Bitra Island in the Lakshadweep Islands,” he said.
He said the dhow with 19 foreigners on board was being escorted to Kavaratti in the Lakshadweep Islands to be handed over to police.
The anti-piracy operation comes days after the Indian Navy deployed a multi-ship force to undertake a comprehensive search in the Arabian Sea that has been witnessing a spurt in piracy in recent weeks.
The decision to deploy the warships and Indian marine commandos for anti-piracy patrol was taken as a sudden increase in piracy attempts was reported in the sea between Nov 24 and 29 about 350 to 700 nautical miles off India’s west coast.
The multi-ship force consisted of a marine commandos team, maritime patrol aircraft, ships and armed helicopters.
In view of increasing incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Navy commenced anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden in October 2008.
Since then the Indian Navy has continuously maintained one ship on patrol in the region, with 23 vessels having been deputed for this tour of duty.
These ships have ensured safe passage of 1,415 merchantmen, of various nationalities, across the pirate-infested waters in the Gulf of Aden.
Not a single ship under escort of the Indian Navy has been hijacked to date.
Indian ships have so far successfully thwarted 23 piracy attempts.
The most recent incidents were of INS Delhi disrupting four piracy attempts in the Gulf of Aden in September and INS Rajput disrupting three piracy attempts in October.

 
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