How Indian Navy’s Crew Of INS Cankarso Busted 15 Somali Pirates

In 2011, Indian Navy under the command of Marine Commando, CO INS Cankarso, Arun Bahuguna carried the operation known as Battle off Minicoy Island intercepting a pirate mother-ship. The ship which has successfully obstructed the Thai-flagged pirated trawler named Prantalay-14. It was the single ship action in January 2011 between Indian naval forces and Somali pirates.

The operation began on January 28 when Indian Coast Guard Dornier aircraft traced two skiffs(small boat) near Lakshadweep Islands. In the early morning, while patrolling in the waters, Indian Coast Guard Dornier detected the Prantalay-14 along with two skiffs chasing Bahamian container ship MV Verdi only at the distance of 300 miles west of the Lakshadweep Islands.

Skiffs traced the aircraft and sailed back to Prantalay-14. As soon as the aircraft reported the sighting of skiffs and Prantalay-14 to Indian Navy, three Indian Navy ships were dispatched. These three Indian Navy ships included the 325-ton INS Cankarso. Under the command of Commander Arun Bahuguna, the operation carried out.

The Cankarso’s radiomen after spotting the Prantalay-14 tried contacting to the pirates, but the contact was completely got ignored. Ultimately, he had to shot fire towards the pirates. In return, with grenades, AK-47s, and rocket-propelled, the fire was opened and it was lasted for twelve hours until CRN 9 damages the trawler heavily.

At that time, a fire broke out in Prantalay-14 and started burning the survivors of the ship as well as the pirates to leave the ship and jump into the water. Thirty-five people jumped into the water, 15 of whom were pirates and twenty were Thai and Myanmar sailors who were taken as hostiles while holding Prantalay-14.

Ten pirates were killed in this operation, and the rest were taken to Mumbai in the form of prisoners in Cankarso. After registering national water without authorization, the pirates were charged with attempt to murder and various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Foreigners Act. Prantalay-14 then sunk into the waters.

In spite of the hail shown by the bullets, and to give his officers and men inspirational leadership, commander Arun Bahuguna remained on the bridges of his ship which was very spectacular. He individually supervised, directed and controlled the battleship firing. He performed an extraordinary “courage and initiative” on the face of great danger and was awarded “Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry)”. This is a gallantry award for servicemen in the Indian Navy.

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