Wednesday, March 08, 2006
The Indian ship hijacked near Somalia was carrying a crew of 21, including six Mumbaikars. The ship, Bhaktisagar, was on its way from Porbunder to Dubai via Somalia when it was hijacked. Commandant A P Badola, regional operational officer of the Coast Guard, said, “We have received information from the Kwalalampur reporting centre that the ship was hijacked by Somalian pirates around 10.30 am on February 26. It was 22 miles from the Somali coast at the time. It was carrying medicines and injections. The ship is still untraceable”.
“The ship 21 persons on board, including six from Mumbai, 13 from Bedi and two from Viraval in Gujarat,” said Badola. The Mumbaikars on the ship are Mustafa Hassan, Salim Omar, Keli Mohammad Mukka Raza, Mohammad Ahmed Khusraha, Aziz Suleman and Amin Hussain. However, Hiren Desai, the owner of the ship, claimed none of the crewmembers were from Mumbai. “The hijacking is a case of internal rivalry among Somalis. It has nothing to do with Indians. “The media is speculating that hijackers have demanded Rs 2 crore for the ship’s release. But the hijackers have not contacted me yet. There has been no demand for any kind of ransom,” he added.