Navy to continue heavy patrolling against pirates: Verma

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) After one of its fast attackcraft sunk a pirate mother ship near Lakshadweep, Navy ChiefAdmiral Nirmal Verma today said his force will continue tocarry out "heavy patrolling" against pirates there.

"We have already put in very heavy patrolling as faras our waters are concerned and that is the reason why thispirate ship could be tackled...This effort would continue," hetold reporters here.

Last week, a Naval Fast Attack Craft (FAC) sunk a piratemothership named ''Prantalay'' 75 miles off Lakshadweep savingthe 20-member crew of the hijacked vessel on-board andarrested 15 pirates from it.

To thwart any piracy attempts around Lakshadweep, theCoast Guard along with the Navy has launched the OperationIsland Watch along the Lakshadweep Islands.

Noting that the joint Coast Guard and Navy patrols werekeeping a strict vigil there, he said, "That is why it justdid not carry out an attack and escape and that is why in goodtime, we could detect it and take action."

In the recent past, activities of pirates aroundLakshadweep have increased and they were also successful inhijacking a Bangladeshi-flagged merchant vessel about 90nautical miles off Kochi and 80 nautical miles off Minicoy.

As part of its efforts to counter piracy and enhancecoastal security, last month a Coast Guard districtheadquarters was commissioned in Kavaratti along with astation in Minicoy, both in the Lakshadweep Islands.

Due to this spurt in pirate activity, the Navy haddeployed its warships along with Coast Guard vessels in thecentral Arabian sea.

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