Will track everyone down even from depths of seas: Rajnath Singh on Red Sea drone attack

NEW DELHI | Updated: 27 December, 2023 12:56 pm IST
Defence minister Rajnath Singh speaking at an event in Srinagar.

NEW DELHI: On Tuesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh warned that India would track everyone down, “even from the depths of the seas”, and take action against those behind attacks on Merchant Navy ships.

He issued the warning at the commissioning of INS Imphal, the third in the series of ‘Vishakhapatnam-class’ warships developed and designed by the Indian Navy.

“The government has taken the drone attack on MV Chem Pluto in the Arabian Sea, and on MV Sai Baba in the Red Sea, very seriously,” he said. “The Navy has increased surveillance… whoever carried out this attack, we will find them even from the seabed. Those behind it will be brought to justice,” said Singh.


He added that the country is the next security provider “for the entire Indian Ocean” region. Furthermore, he asserted that the government is working with “friendly nations” to ensure the safety of maritime trade in the region.

These developments arrive at a time when the Navy confirmed the attack on MV Chem Pluto by a drone, on Sunday. According to a Pentagon spokesperson, the ship was hit by a “one-way attack drone from Iran”.

The vessel was flagged by Liberia and was headed towards Mangaluru in Karnataka, setting sail from a Saudi Arabian port.

The drone that set a part of the vessel on fire was the victim of one of several attacks by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, targetting the Red Sea vessel route, a mere 400 km off India’s west coast.


The Chem Pluto, including its 21-member crew, docked at Mumbai port on Tuesday morning, following which a Navy-ordained inspection was carried out.

Earlier, a second oil tanker by the name of MV Sai Baba, registered in Gabon, was also attacked by a drone. The tanker had a crew strength of 25 members.

According to sources, no one was injured in the scuffle, and now, three warships — Kochi, Kolkata and Mormugao — have been sent out on sea to play as a deterrent presence.

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