New Delhi: The Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday ruled out any plans for offensive action against Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden despite an increase in piracy-related incidents. Expressing concerns over the rise in such incidents, he termed the piracy threat as a serious problem and said that the government is getting alerts and threats every day and families of the people who are abducted are in agony.
The Defence Minister was responding to queries about the possibility of launching offensive against the pirates in the wake of increasing incidents of abduction of Indian nationals for ransom by the pirates.
Speaking on the issue, Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said it was for the government to decide and permit offensive action against pirates. On the global efforts to counter piracy, the Navy chief said, that this is being addressed jointly in a quite extensive way.
Verma said though there were no fool-proof answers to tackle the problem but if pirate mother ships are located before they indulge in any act, it can be addressed to a certain extent. On the measures taken by the Navy to control piracy in the Indian Ocean Region, he said that the navy has intensified patrolling in the eight degree channel off the Lakshadweep island from November last year.