New Delhi, Oct 16: The Somali pirates on Tuesday, Oct 14 had issued a deadline to the owners, the government and other authorities to pay the demanded ransom of USD 2.5 million within 48 hours. The pirates had threatened to kill the crew members along with 18 Indian sailors of the hijacked MT Stolt Valor, if they fail to pay the ransom within stipulated time. With few hours left to act, the Government has allowed the Navy to enter the Gulf of Aden on Thursday, Oct 16.
However, the owners of MT Stolt Valor announced on Thursday, Oct 16 that there is no deadline or threat issued by the hijackers.
Earlier, Defence Minister A K Antony had categorically ruled out an offensive in the high seas, saying that the government was banking on negotiations to resolve the crisis. It had prompted angry families to ask if authorities were even considering ransom as a final option.
Meanwhile, Seema Goyal, wife of captain of the ship Prabhat Goyal, said that she received a call from the pirates to inform her about the deadline. Seema said that the 'inhumane' pirates could do anything. Therefore, she appealed to the owners as well as the government to look seriously into the matter to get the negotiations on track.
The Japanese vessel, carrying 18 Indian crew members, was hijacked off the Gulf of Aden, almost a month ago. Even though the Indian government has maintained that it has sought international help to end the hijack drama, no action has been taken so far.