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Indian Navy concludes successful Anti-Piracy Op, 35 Somali pirates handed to Mumbai Police

Mumbai (Maharashtra): As many as 35 Somali pirates, who were captured by the Indian Navy, were handed over to Mumbai Police on Saturday after due formalities of Customs and Immigration.

Visuals from Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, showed the pirates standing in a queue as Mumbai Police assigned them chest numbers.
From the dockyard, the pirates were taken over to JJ Hospital for medical examination.

The Indian Navy recently rescued 17 crew members of the vessel MV Ruen during an anti-piracy operation lasting nearly two days, with no casualties reported. Around 35 pirates surrendered and were taken into custody, the Indian Navy said.

The operation involved a navy destroyer, a patrol ship, an Indian Air Force C-17 transporter flying more than 1,500 miles to airdrop marine commandos, a naval drone, a reconnaissance drone and a P-8 surveillance jet, the Indian Navy release said.

Somali pirates' capture of the MV Ruen in December last year marked the first successful hijacking of a vessel off the country's coast since 2017.

But when the Ruen, now operated by a pirate crew, last week left Somali waters with the intent of committing acts of piracy on the high seas, the Indian Navy made moves to intercept it.

Based on the analysis of the surveillance information the Indian Navy was able to track the movement of the Pirate Ship Ruen and directed INS Kolkata to intercept the ship approximately 260 Nm East of Somalia.

Kolkata intercepted Ruen in the morning of March 15, and confirmed the presence of armed pirates through a ship-launched drone. The pirates shot down the drone and fired at the Indian Naval warship. In a calibrated response INS Kolkata disabled the ship's steering system and navigational aids, forcing the Pirate Ship to stop.

INS Kolkata undertook precisely measured actions while maintaining her position close to the Pirate Ship and also engaged in forceful negotiations, which resulted in the Pirates surrendering and releasing the pirate ship MV Ruen and its original crew present onboard.

All 35 Somali pirates surrendered March 16. All 17 original crew members of MV Ruen were also safely evacuated from the pirate vessel without any injury.

Bulgarian leaders, including President Rumen Radev, thanked India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the operation.

"My sincere gratitude to (PM Modi) for the brave action of (the) Navy rescuing the hijacked Bulgarian ship 'Ruen' and its crew, including 7 Bulgarian citizens," Radev said in a post on X.

Bulgarian Foreign Minister, Mariya Gabriel also thanked the Indian Navy for rescuing seven Bulgarian nationals in a successful anti-piracy operation in the Arabian Sea. Replying to this, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that it is exactly what friends are for.

In a post on X, Jaishankar wrote, "That's what friends are for," alongside Gabriel's post.

The culmination of the ongoing Anti-Piracy operation involving pirate ship Ruen in the Southern Indian Ocean Region highlights the commitment of the Indian Navy towards reinforcing peace and stability, and also to thwart the resurgence of Piracy in the region. 

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