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Sea piracy: India to deploy armed commandos on board vessels

New Delhi: Indian merchant vessels plying in piracy-infested waters will soon have armed security of CISF commandos as the government has begun framing rules of engagement for this contingent.

The Centre has given a green signal to the paramilitary force to train about 100 of its troops with the Navy’s Special Forces squad, called Marine Commandos (MARCOS), to undertake long-haul deployment and amphibious operations in the high seas.

Sources privy to the development said the Union Law Ministry, in consultation with the Home Ministry, is finalising the Standard Operating Procedures for these squads which will deployed onboard ships and would be equipped with specialised long range weapons.

“The rules of engagement as notified under the international maritime laws are being looked into and will be prepared before the first CISF squads are deployed onboard these vessels,” they said.

The squads are expected to be deployed by this year-end, they added.The CISF squads will travel with the vessels in the Indian Ocean region up to the tip of Somalia, which is prone to piracy incidents, and then re-board an incoming vessel to get back to their base in India.

A five-member security detachment including a commander will be deployed onboard these ships.At present several vessels, sailing with Indian flags, are relying on security agencies employing foreign nationals in piracy-infested waters.

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