Navy can change SoP to go after pirates

Currently, the Navy and Coast Guard can launch offensive actions against the pirates only if they attack a naval or CG vessel first. But the new SOP  allows the Navy to chase and attack the pirates whenever they witness piracy attempts in the seas, sources said.

At the same time, the Indian Penal Code will be amended to incorporate piracy as a crime so that pirates can be brought to book. Currently, the IPC does not recognise piracy as a crime.

Together, the changes are expected to make Indian anti-piracy measures more stringent and effective. The Cabinet Committee on Security here approved the crucial changes after it took stock of the piracy situation.

“The committee approved a series of measures, which will be taken by the government to address the legal, administrative and operational aspects of combating piracy,” External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said in the Lok Sabha.

The CCS approved setting up an inter-ministerial group under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary to monitor and facilitate early release of Indian ships or cargo or crew from the clutches of pirates.

As many as 53 Indians are still detained by pirates in five different ships even though 11 were released three days ago.

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