DELHI: Chairman Ansar Burney Trust International and former federal minister for Human Rights Ansar Burney has moved the Indian Punjab and Haryana High Courts seeking directions to the central government for release of six Indians and other detainees from Somali pirates.
According to a press release the petitioners have sought directions from the high courts to the Indian ministries of external; home and defence affairs to take immediate steps for the release of detainees and to evolve some steps such incidents are not repeated in future.
Ansar Burney Trust had earlier arranged 2.1 million dollars humanitarian aid for the release of 22-member crew of Egyptian merchant vessel MV Suez, which also included 6 Indian sailors, from Somali pirates in June. Pirates in the Gulf of Aden hijacked MV Suez on August 2, last year.
The civil writ petition filed under Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India by way of public interest, by International Ambassador for Peace and Human Rights Ansar Burney, Advocate and Indian national Ranjan Lakhanpal, Advocate mentioned that on March 29 last year, MV Iceberg-1 owned by Dubai based owner and having a Panama flag was hijacked by the Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden. The detainees included 6 Indians, 2 Pakistanis, 9 Yemenis, 2 Sudanese, 4 Ghanians and 1 Filipino who were on board the vessel.
The petition mentions that the Indian detainees include Jaswinder Singh from Haryana, Dhiraj Tiwari from Nasik, Ganesh Mohite from Navi Mumbai, Santosh Yadav from Uttar Pradesh, Swapnil Jadhav from Satara in Maharashtra and Shah Ji Kumar Purshotanam from Kerala. The pirates have demanded 8 million dollars for their release.
The petition, expected to come up for hearing next week, also asserted that it is common knowledge now that Somali pirates are capturing hundreds of Pakistanis, Indians and other nationals every month and release them only after taking huge ransom. Ansar Burney also pleaded for directions to the central government for adoption of measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future.