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Indian Navy Concludes Anti-Piracy Operation, Hands Over 35 Somali Pirates To Mumbai Police

The Indian Navy handed over 35 captured Somali pirates to the Mumbai Police at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. The pirates were assigned chest numbers at the dockyard by the police, and then taken to JJ Hospital for medical examination.

The sequence of events started with the Indian Navy’s successful rescue operation of 17 crew members from the vessel MV Ruen during a nearly two-day-long anti-piracy mission. Around 35 pirates surrendered and were taken into custody. No casualties were reported, the Indian Navy said.

The saga began with the MV Ruen’s hijacking by Somali pirates in December of the previous year, marking the first successful hijacking in the region since 2017. However, when the pirate-operated vessel ventured out of Somali waters with intentions of piracy on international waters, the Indian Navy acted swiftly to intercept it.

Using surveillance data analysis, the Indian Navy tracked the movement of the Pirate Ship Ruen and directed INS Kolkata to intercept the vessel approximately 260 nautical miles East of Somalia. INS Kolkata, in a carefully orchestrated maneuver, disabled the pirate ship’s steering system and navigational aids after confirming the presence of armed pirates.

The standoff culminated with the pirates surrendering on March 16, following forceful negotiations and the safe evacuation of all 17 original crew members from MV Ruen without any injuries.

Bulgarian leaders, including President Rumen Radev and Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel, expressed gratitude to India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the successful rescue operation. President Rade lauded the bravery of the Indian Navy in rescuing the hijacked Bulgarian ship and its crew, including seven Bulgarian nationals.

In response, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar took to X to write, “That’s what friends are for”.

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