The piracy in Indian ocean region became a major threat to the Indian security. Examine. Discuss various steps taken to counter piracy in this region by Indian government. Are the counter piracy efforts successful?
The piracy threat in the Indian Ocean region was primarily recognized in 2008 by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution for counter-piracy operations
Under article 101 of UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, piracy is defined as: “Any acts of violence, detention, or depredation committed on the high seas by the crew or passengers of a private ship or aircraft against another ship, aircraft, persons, or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any state for private ends.”
The Indian Ocean is the third largest water body of the world that has vital sea lanes of communication crisscrossing it and which feeds Asia’s largest economies. It is a major conduit for international trade, especially energy. Its littoral is vast, densely populated, and comprises some of the world’s fastest growing regions. The piracy in this region became a major threat to India as it became an internal and border security challenge.
Steps taken to counter piracy in Indian ocean region by Indian government
- Escort and protection: The Indian Navy commenced anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden from 2008.
o Indian Naval and Coast Guard ships have also been deployed in piracy prone areas nearer the Indian coast. Around 1000 plus ships of various nationalities have been escorted and more than 40 piracy attacks prevented by Indian forces till date.
o The Director General Shipping has launched a web-based registration service where merchant ships can register with DG Shipping in order to avail of the escort facility provided by Indian Naval ships in the Gulf of Aden.
- Global coordination: By participating in the multilateral for a setup to combat piracy.
o India is an active participant of various mechanisms like “Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (SHADE)” that have been established to facilitate sharing of information.
o India, Japan and China (all three nations operate independently) have agreed to coordinate patrols thereby ensuring an effective and optimum use of the combined maritime assets to escort ships, especially in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor established for use by all merchant ships in the Gulf of Aden.
Counter piracy efforts successful
In the recent past, there have been notable successes in counter-piracy efforts in the Indian Ocean Region. But the root cause of piracy problem i.e. poverty, lack of employment opportunities as well as a lack of legal, governance and maritime infrastructure have not been adequately addressed.
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