INS Kolkata Returns to Heroic Welcome After Successful Anti-Piracy Operation, Pirates Handed Over to Mumbai Police

The interception was made possible through coordinated efforts and intelligence sharing, with inputs received by the Indian Navy's Information Fusion Centre


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In a bold display of maritime prowess, the Indian Navy’s front-line destroyer, INS Kolkata, made headlines last week as it apprehended 35 Somali pirates during its anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea. The captured pirates were brought to Mumbai Naval Dockyard on Saturday morning and handed over to the Mumbai Police Yellow Gate police station for custody, marking a significant milestone in the fight against piracy.

Upon their arrival in Mumbai, the Somali pirates faced the prospect of legal repercussions, as Mumbai Police prepared to register cases under the Maritime Anti-Piracy Act, Arms Act, and the Indian Penal Code. This decisive action underscores India’s commitment to combatting piracy and upholding maritime security in the region.

INS Kolkata’s return to Mumbai was met with a heroic welcome, following its deployment for anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea. The destroyer, engaged in sustained high-tempo operations lasting over 40 hours, intercepted the MV Ruen, which had been hijacked by armed pirates in December and used as a mother ship for further attacks on commercial shipping.

The interception was made possible through coordinated efforts and intelligence sharing, with inputs received by the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region from the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO). Despite facing resistance from the pirates, INS Kolkata took decisive action, disabling the hijacked vessel’s propulsion and navigation systems to halt its illicit activities.

In collaboration with INS Subhadra and utilizing a range of assets including Long-Range Maritime Patrol aircraft, P8I aircraft, Sea Guardian UAVs, and warship integral helicopters, INS Kolkata executed a meticulously planned operation. Elite Marine Commandos (MARCOS) were paradropped onto the hijacked vessel from a C17 transport aircraft, swiftly subduing the armed pirates and rescuing the crew members.

Following the successful rescue operation, Indian Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams conducted thorough searches to ensure the safety of the vessel, while naval technical teams assessed its seaworthiness and undertook essential repairs for further voyage.

The capture and subsequent prosecution of the Somali pirates underscore India’s unwavering resolve to combat piracy and uphold international maritime law. By neutralizing this threat, INS Kolkata and its counterparts have demonstrated India’s commitment to safeguarding global maritime interests and ensuring the safety of seafarers in the region.

The Indian Navy’s swift and decisive action serves as a testament to its professionalism and readiness to confront emerging security challenges, reinforcing its position as a key maritime security provider in the Indian Ocean region.

Also Read: Maharashtra’s Stark Reality: Mumbai Emerges as Most Unsafe Haven for Senior Citizens, Unveils NCRB Report


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