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Indian Navy to carry out anti-piracy patrols around Seychelles' coastline

A file photo of INS Nirdeshak

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Navy will carry out anti-piracy patrols around Seychelles' coastline following a request from that country.

"INS Nirdeshak, an Indian Navy survey vessel and warship, is currently in Seychelles waters and will patrol the area after several incidents of Somali pirates operating near the Indian Ocean island nation were reported in the recent past," Indian Navy officials said here.

Seychelles, they said, requested India to send its Navy to patrol its Exclusive Economic Zone. The Navy confirmed that INS Nirdeshak has already been sent to the region.

"We had been helping Seychelles earlier also in building its capabilities and maintaining its fleet. But this is the first time after the 1988 Maldives (when Maldives had sought Indian Navy's help) operations that a country has asked for our help," officials said.

The INS Nirdeshak was present in Seychelles' waters for carrying out survey missions there.

The survey ship, officials said, was adequately equipped in terms of men and weapons to carry out anti-piracy missions in the area.

The Somali pirates have now shifted their focus from the Gulf of Aden after being chased by International forces there. At least ten Seychellois have been taken hostage in the past few weeks.

The INS Nirdeshak belongs to the Shandhayak class of survey vessels having a water displacement of 1,929 tons full load. It is equipped with 1/40mm 60-cal. Bofors AA gun, 1 Chetak helicopter.

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