India to initiate strict action against Red Sea attackers: Rajnath Singh

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has vowed decisive measures against those accountable for the assaults on India-associated shipping vessels, MV Chem Pluto and MV Sai Baba, amidst escalating tensions in the Red Sea region.

Persistent attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on vessels navigating the critical Red Sea route have contributed to global economic uncertainty for more than a month. Singh emphasized the seriousness of the recent drone attacks on MV Chem Pluto in the Arabian Sea and MV Sai Baba in the Red Sea, affirming the Indian government\’s commitment to taking stringent action against the perpetrators. He announced increased naval surveillance in response.

The Houthi-led attacks on shipping vessels with ties to Israel, retaliating against Tel Aviv\’s military actions in Gaza, have disrupted Red Sea shipping since mid-November. Singh underscored India’s role as a security provider in the region and expressed a dedication to collaborating with other nations to ensure maritime commerce security.

Responding to Houthi attacks, the US introduced a multinational maritime coalition called \”Operation Prosperity Guardian\” to restore stability along the Red Sea corridor. Singh confirmed India\’s interest in the Red Sea crisis, and the Ministry of External Affairs acknowledged ongoing discussions regarding India\’s potential participation in the coalition.

The US-led coalition includes the UK, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, and Spain, aiming to address security challenges in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, ensuring freedom of navigation and promoting regional security and prosperity.

Despite India\’s interest and the US-led coalition, formal cooperation with the multinational naval coalition, the Combined Maritime Force, is pending. India was invited to send a naval officer to its headquarters in Bahrain in 2022. Following the attacks on the ship, the Indian Coast Guard escorted MV Chem Pluto to Mumbai.

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