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India deploys another warship off Seychelles coast

Indian naval ship INS Savitri

NEW DELHI (PTI): Augmenting its anti-piracy efforts off the coast of Seychelles and Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, India deployed an additional naval ship in the sea brigand-infested waters to carry out patrol and surveillance.

"The Indian Navy has deployed INS Savitri, an Offshore Patrol Vessel with a Chetak helicopter and Marine Commandos, for the surveillance of Exclusive Economic Zone of Seychelles and Mauritius till early January next year," a Navy spokesperson said here on Monday.

Savitri would be deployed in close coordination with the ships and aircraft of Seychelles Coast Guard and the Mauritian National Coast Guard. "The presence of this ship will help in deterring piracy in these areas," he said.

Over the past few years, incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Aden have increased considerably. In the last one year, over 175 piracy attempts, involving ships of various nationalities, have taken place in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia coast.

To "deter, dissuade and prevent" hijackings in the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Navy has deployed a warship continuously in the Gulf of Aden since October 23 last year, even achieving "a kill" in the high seas when one of its frigates took out the mother ship of the pirates last November.

The Navy spokesperson said as a result of effectiveness of warship patrols and escorts in the Gulf of Aden, pirates had shifted their attention to the area East of Somalia, also referred to as the Somalia Basin, and to the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of Seychelles and Mauritius in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

"Some of these attacks have taken place nearly 1,900 kms from the Somali Coast, making these waters dangerous for all sea-farers, thereby seriously affecting the safety of international trade and commerce transiting through these waters," he said.

The Indian Navy had already placed its warships in the pirate-infested waters around Seychelles and Mauritius for over a year now, and INS Savitri would join the ongoing efforts against the sea brigands, the spokesperson said.

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