New Delhi: Six of the 28 Indian seafarers rescued from Somali pirates after their vessels were hijacked in 2012 will reach India on Monday. Seventeen Indian seafarers on board the MT Royal Grace have been in captivity of pirates since March 2, 2012 and 11 Indian seafarers on board MT Smyrni were in captivity since May 10, 2012. The remaining sailors are also expected to return India as soon as their replacements arrive in Muscat.
Both the ships were received by officials of the Indian Embassy in Oman. Indian embassy officials had arranged for doctors to conduct medical checkup and provide necessary assistance to a few who needed assistance. All crew members were provided new clothing, toiletries and shoes by the Embassy and were provided opportunities to speak with their family members.
Passports, where required, exit permits from Omani authorities and necessary ticketing arrangements have been made by the Embassy of India in Muscat, they said. The government has been working assiduously to ensure release of Indian nationals in captivity of pirates and had been pursuing the matter at various levels and in different countries, they said. They, however, did not divulge details of how the government managed to secure their release.
The return of the sailors is being seen as a significant milestone in India's war against piracy.
Indian government officials have termed the development as a milestone in the war against piracy. There are eight more Indian sailors of MT Asphalt Venture and MV Al Bedo in captivity.
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