Govt assures all possible steps for release of sailors | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt assures all possible steps for release of sailors

delhi Updated: Oct 04, 2008 19:51 IST

The government has said it would take all "possible steps" for the release of 18 Indian sailors of a ship hijacked by armed Somalian pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

Seema Goyal, wife of captain P K Goyal of 'M T Stolt Valor', on Friday met Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma who assured her that the government is with the affected families at this "testing time".

"The government's response has been positive and we are looking forward to the early release of the hijacked crew members," she said in New Delhi on Saturday.

Goyal also yesterday met Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and requested him to take up the issue with the Government for release of the sailors.

The seafarers on board the ship have been held hostage by the pirates who hijacked the cargo ship on September 15.

The ship is owned by a Japanese company and managed by Fleet Marine Ltd in Mumbai. The hijackers had earlier demanded a ransom of USD six million for the release of the crew and now reduced it to $ two million.

"Now the only option is payment of ransom to free the sailors. We have no expectations from the Japanese company or Fleet Marine Ltd which is managing it," she said.

Goyal along with family members of many sailors' participated in a demonstration in New Delhi.

Goyal said she would try to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President Pratibha Patil, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Congress President Sonia Gandhi and apprise them on the issue.