Mysterious ship near Lakshadweep raises security fears

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New Delhi, Nov 23: With India aiming to fortify its coasts in the wake of intelligence inputs that suggest that there could be security threats coming from the coast, a recent piece of news gains prominence. The entire security apparatus was alert when a mysterious Iranian ship was anchored near Lakshadweep for the last 30 days.

The ship, MV Assa, according to media reports was anchored inside India"s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the coast of Kerala. There are also reports of several boats making trips to the vessel. Suspicions were heightened when the crew of the Iranian vessel have not established any proper contact with the Indian authorities yet.

The Indian authorities have however failed to press for answers considering the rules of the sea that allows complete freedom of navigation within a country"s EEZ.

India's territorial water extend to 12 nautical miles from the coast, the EEZ however extends further to 200 nautical miles. A country is deemed to have exclusive right to resources in its EEZ, but has no rights to interfere with commercial ships in this zone.

MV Assa is understood to be owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), and is an entity under US sanctions.

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