A total of 121 ships were hijacked in the international waters in the last two years of which two incidents were reported off the Lakshadweep coast this year and 350 crew members were taken captive by pirates, Lok Sabha was informed.
"As per International Maritime Bureau, during 2009 to June 30 this year the total number of ships hijacked is 121. The number of crew who were taken captive is 350 in the current year," defence minister A K Antony said in a written reply on Mo0nday.
On piracy attempts near Lakshadweep island, he said, "Two incidents were reported off Lakshdweep in 2011. Indian Navy and Coast Guards intercepted the two vessels, which were hijacked Thai vessels. 43 pirates of Thai and Myanmarese origin were captured and handed over to Mumbai police."
On efforts by the Indian Navy to control piracy in the Gulf of Aden, the Minister said, "Government has deployed one Indian Naval warship in the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy patrols since October 2008 and more than 1,700 ships have been escorted."
The presence of Indian Navy in the area is to protect our sea borne trade and instill confidence in the sea faring community, he said.
The minister informed the House that a coordinated operation was launched by Navy and Coast Guard for preventing piracy off the Lakshadweep islands. "The operation included enhanced surveillance and patrol by surface and air units," he said.
"Indian Navy has substantially increased its anti-piracy deployment in East Arabian Sea since November 2010. The result of these deployment was that by end April 2011 the threat of piracy attacks was substantially reduced in this area and there were nil hijacking East of 65 degree and East Longitude since February 2011," Antony said.