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Gulf of Aden: Indian Navy continues to monitor maritime security situation in Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden

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Indian Navy on Wednesday said its ships and aircraft remain “mission deployed” for maintaining enhanced surveillance and undertaking maritime security operations. “In the last one week, Indian Naval Task Groups deployed in the area have investigated large number of fishing vessel and boarded vessels of interest,” it said.

The Navy substantially enhanced maritime surveillance efforts in view of recent incidents of attacks on commercial ships including that of the drone attack on MV Chem Pluto around 220 nautical miles South West of Porbandar last month.

“Indian Navy continues to monitor maritime security situation in North/ Central Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden,” the Navy said in a statement.

“Indian Naval ships and aircraft remain mission deployed for maintaining enhanced surveillance and undertaking maritime security operations,” it said.

It said Indian naval maritime patrol aircraft and remotely piloted aircraft are undertaking persistence surveillance over the area.

Indian Navy is also coordinating with Coast Guard for maintaining enhanced surveillance within India’s exclusive economic zone. “Indian Navy is closely monitoring overall situation in coordination with national maritime agencies and remains committed towards ensuring safety of merchant shipping and seafarers in the region,” the Navy said. Liberian-flagged vessel MV Chem Pluto, with 21 Indian crew members, was the target of a drone attack off India’s west coast on December 23 that triggered security concerns in New Delhi as it came amid the Iran-backed Houthi militants launching strikes on several commercial ships in the Red Sea.

Besides MV Chem Pluto, another commercial oil tanker that was on the way to India came under a suspected drone strike in Southern Red Sea on the same day. The vessel had a team of 25 Indian crew.

In another incident, Malta-flagged vessel MV Ruen was hijacked on December 14 by pirates.

“IMAC (Information Management and Analysis Centre) and IFC IOR (Information Fusion Centre ‘ Indian Ocean Region) have been closely monitoring white shipping, especially the Indian Flagged Merchant Vessels plying in the area,” Navy said.

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