Dhumal seeks PM’s intervention for release of Indian sailors

Shimla: With Somali pirates holding up a Singapore merchant ship for the last 10 days that has Ragghuvir Singh Pathania, a marine engineer from Himachal onboard, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has sought intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for taking necessary steps to secure his release.

The ship belonging to Pacific International Lines was stormed by the pirates in Gulf of Aden on the night of 15th October and the crew are still being held hostage.

Dhumal said that though the ship company was in touch with Pathania’s family at Sukkad, Yol in Kangra district and have let them know that talks are being held with the pirates.

However, the serious matter warranted that the country take effective steps to secure release of the Indian citizens on the seized ship, he said.

As pirate attacks around Gulf of Aden was making it one of the most dangerous waterways around the world, patrolling in the region by Indian Navy could play a critical role in providing security. In a separate letter written, the chief minister urged SM Krishna, the external affairs minister to initiate diplomatic channels for securing the release of the captives.

Pathanis’s aging parents, wife and his small son have been anxious about his well being ever since the information of the pirate attack go to them.

“Other than the Indian government, we have nobody else to appeal to about seeking the safe release of my husband,” says Deepika Pathania. Besides Pathania, there are 3 other Indian sailors among the 21 crew of the seized ship.

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