Most of twenty-eight Indian sailors that were held captive by pirates for oer a year have just returned home to India.
As they returned home, their overjoyed families, friends and relatives greeted them enthusiastically.
Mukesh, a former-captive that returned to Deli, said, “we are very happy. After 10 months we are here. I would like to thank the media and the government.”
Another sailor, Siddarth, shared his thoughts as well: “I have forgotten everything, all I remember is that I’m going to meet my family.”
Seventeen of the 28 returning sailors made up the crew of the MY Royal Grace, which was hijacked in March 2012. The eleven others were aboard the MV Smyrni when pirates captured that ship in May of the same year.
Almost all of the sailors returned home recently, but a few were delayed as they needed to remain aboard the returned ship while another crew was arranged.
The Indian government was not forthcoming with details about how they secured the release of the captives and the ships. Both ships, however, returned to Salalah port in Muscat and were received by diplomats from the Indian Embassy in Oman.
India had been working furiously behind the scenes to release the hostages, reportedly going down avenues in various other countries and working at various levels of government. The Indian government remains committed to the return of all of its nationals that are held in captivity. These 28 coming back home is a great milestone in this effort.
Crew from the MT Asphalt Venture and the MV Al Bedo are still in captivity, but the Indian government released a statement reminding all that they have not forgotten about them and continue to work towards their release as well.