Will find attackers of merchant navy ships even from depths of seas: Rajnath

Mumbai: The Indian government has taken serious cognisance of the recent attacks on merchant navy ships MV Chem Pluto and MV Sai Baba, and it will take strict action against those behind the attacks by finding them even from the “depths of seas”, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.

Speaking after the commissioning of stealth guided missile destroyer INS Imphal, Singh said India has intensified patrolling of the seas after the recent attacks on merchant navy ships.

“The Indian government has taken the drone attack on MV Chem Pluto and attack on MV Saibaba in the Red Sea seriously.

We will find those who executed the recent attacks on merchant navy ships even from the depths of the seas and take strict action against them,” Singh said.

MV Chem Pluto with 21 Indian crew members, was struck by a drone about 217 nautical miles from Porbandar on Saturday following which both the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard deployed a number of assets to provide assistance to the ship.

A Gabon-flagged commercial crude oil tanker with 25 Indian crew members reportedly came under a drone attack in the Southern Red Sea.

Indian officials later clarified that the commercial oil tanker was not an Indian-flagged vessel.

Meanwhile, Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said four destroyers have been deployed to counter piracy and drone attacks on merchant ships.

He said P-8I aircraft, Dorniers, Sea Guardians, helicopters and Coast Guard ships – all have been deployed jointly to counter the threats of piracy and drone attacks.