Security for a Fee

In a somewhat ironic following of Italy’s example, the Indian Central Industrial Security Force is to provide armed personnel aboard Indian merchant ships for a fee.

CISF ready to secure ships for a fee

By Rakhi Chakrabarty, TNN

The Centre has decided to deploy armed Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel aboard Indian merchant ships for a fee to thwart attacks by pirates. This is the first time a government force would provide security to merchant ships.

“The CISF has chosen 100 men for training to be deployed on merchant ships,” said CISF director-general Rajiv. They will be trained “in consultation with the Navy”.

The training for the CISF men will include acclimatization for long travels on sea. In the recent session of Parliament, shipping minister G K Vasan said (till Sept 3) pirates are holding 43 Indian seafarers hostage. The global shipping industry is losing $7-12 billion annually due to piracy, said an industry source.

CISF men will travel on the vessels in the Indian Ocean region up to the tip of Somalia which is the most piracy-prone zone. They will return to their base in India on another incoming vessel. The law and foreign ministries have vetted the rules for deploying CISF on the ships. In a meeting recently, the CISF submitted a proposal related to the fee it proposes to charge shipping companies.

“The proposal was referred to DG shipping to work out the cost keeping parity with market rates,” said a shipping ministry source. The home and shipping ministries are also finalizing modalities in consultation with the MEA.

Source: Times of India

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