Twenty-four days after armed Somalian pirates hijacked MT Stolt Valor with 18 Indian sailors on board, the distressed families are knocking at every door to secure the release of the hostages even as the government continued to remain a mute spectator.
Seema Goyal, wife of ship Captain Prabhat K Goyal, met Chinese embassy officials on Wednesday to seek their help in rescuing the vessel, which is owned by a Japanese but registered in Hong Kong.
“The Chinese officials were more helpful than the Indians. They have assured us of full cooperation in this regard. We have been knocking on all the doors, but our government has done nothing so far,” she said.
Goyal had also met Japanese embassy officials on Monday and urged them to pressurise Yama Mura’s Hiroshima-based Central Marine Shipping Company to pay the ransom.
Hopes have slightly brightened with the pirates reducing their ransom demand to $1.5 million. They had initially demanded $ 6 million and later brought it down to $2 million.
Goyal has also sought meetings with President Pratibha Patil, PM Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee and National Security Advisor M K Narayanan. She has already met Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.