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'Pirates have threatened to kill our children if nothing is done'

November 27, 2012 15:17 IST

Family members of the 17 Indian sailors, who have been held hostage by Somali pirates for the past nine months, on Tuesday protested outside the shipping ministry.

The families demanded immediate release of the sailors, who have been held captive by Somali pirates off the Gulf of Aden, between Yemen and Somalia, on UAE-owned MT Royal Grace.

"Yes, we met Shipping Minister G K Vasan, and he assured us that he would do something. Pirates have threatened to kill our children if nothing is done till November 3O. So, we have decided that till they (government) decide to get them released, we will not go from here," mother of Mehtab, one of the hostages, said.

"My son, who has been held hostage, has two children. Nothing has happened in the past nine months, let us see what they do now," she said.

Similar is the plight of Saurav's kin, another sailor who is in captivity.

"They (government) have said that they would meet us. We cannot trust them unless they give us something. They have been repeatedly saying that they are doing their best. Pirates have given them (sailors) a deadline till November 30. We want government to assure us that nothing would happen to our people," he said.

"We want them to get our family members released. If something happens to them, who would be held responsible," Sushil, whose younger brother Saurav is held hostage by the Somali pirates, said.


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