The Indian Navy Conducts "Clearance Operations" on Hijacked Ships
Indian Navy forces successfully intervened in a potential hijacking incident on the ship "Leela Norfolk" in the Arabian Sea, conducting clearance operations on board.
Indian Navy Takes Swift Action
The navy's warship, Chennai, responded promptly to the hijacking incident after receiving information that the ship, flying the Liberian flag, had been seized near the Somali coast. The ship had a crew of at least 15 Indian nationals.
Chronology of Events
The Indian Navy's alertness was triggered when the Leela Norfolk sent a distress message to the British Maritime Trade Operations Authority, reporting that unidentified armed individuals had boarded the vessel on Thursday evening. At the time of the message, the ship was located 460 nautical miles east of the Somali coast. In response, the warship Chennai altered its course to provide assistance.
Swift Naval Response
A naval plane was deployed to monitor the hijacked ship closely, making contact with it on Friday. The Indian Navy's decisive action reflects heightened surveillance in the Arabian Sea following a recent surge in attacks in the region. Notably, attempted hijackings and kidnappings by suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea regions resurfaced in December after a six-year lull.
Possible Causes of Increased Maritime Threats
Experts attribute the resurgence of maritime threats to a shift in the focus of the US-led naval forces, which redirected their attention to the Red Sea to counter Houthi attacks. This adjustment may have inadvertently created a vacuum in security measures in other maritime zones, leading to an uptick in piracy-related incidents.
The Indian Navy's successful intervention underscores the importance of maintaining robust maritime security measures to safeguard vessels and crews navigating the strategically significant waters of the Arabian Sea and beyond.
In the face of evolving threats, the Indian Navy remains vigilant, emphasising the need for continuous monitoring and proactive measures to address potential security challenges in the maritime domain.