The past few months have seen a series of positive interventions by the Indian Navy against hijacking attempts and drone attacks by pirates
Indian Navy ship INS Sharda has been awarded an 'On the Spot Unit Citation' for successful conduct of anti-piracy operations in February this year. 

The citation was conferred by Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff, during his visit to Southern Naval Command, Kochi, the Ministry of Defence announced on Saturday (April 6, 2024).

The ship was involved in the safe release of all 19 crew members (11 Iranians & 8 Pakistanis) of Iranian fishing vessel Omari which was held hostage by pirates off the East coast of Somalia.

The ship was tasked to investigate the Iranian fishing vessel Omari that was likely hijacked by pirates. Based on surveillance inputs of naval RPA, the ship intercepted the vessel and maintained a covert trail throughout the night. During early morning hours of February 2, 2024, the ship's integral helo and subsequently Prahar team was launched. 

The aggressive posture of the ship coerced the pirates to safely release the crew and boat. The swift and decisive actions of the ship resulted in rescue of hijacked fishing vessel and its crew from Somali pirates. The relentless effort of the ship, mission deployed for anti-piracy operations saved precious lives at sea upholding Indian Navy's resolve to enhancing security and safety of seafarers in the Indian Ocean Region, the Ministry of Defence said. 

Interacting with Team Sharda, the Chief of Naval Staff commended them for responding to piracy attack with alacrity leading to safe and successful conduct of operations at sea under challenging conditions. During his address, he complimented the professional approach of crew which resulted in recognition and acclaim of Indian Navy as the preferred security partner in the region.

Indian Navy Guards Critical Shipping Lanes of Arabian Sea

In late 2023, the Indian Navy had substantially increased its maritime surveillance activity in the Central and North Arabian Sea region following a rise in drone attacks on merchant vessels transiting the region. This included deploying destroyers and frigates to counter the threat.

Over the past few months, a series of positive interventions by the Indian Navy against hijacking attempts and drone attacks by pirates in the critical shipping lanes of the Arabian Sea has bolstered India’s role as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean Region.

On March 29, 2024, warships of the Indian Navy carried out a successful anti-piracy operation in the Arabian Sea, rescuing an Iranian fishing vessel and its 23 Pakistani crew members.

Earlier, over a period of nearly 40 hours on March 15-16, 2024, teams of the Indian Navy carried out an unprecedented and successful anti-piracy operation nearly 1,400 nautical miles (2,600 km) from the Indian coastline. The operation, which saw the Indian Air Force (IAF) playing a key role, led to the surrender of all 35 Somali pirates who had captured ex-MV Ruen on December 14, 2023. The 17 crew members were also evacuated safely.
In January this year, in an impressive display of maritime vigilance and precision, Indian Naval Ship (INS) Sumitra successfully executed two anti-piracy operations off the East Coast of Somalia, rescuing a total of 36 crew members from the clutches of Somali pirates.