Kurukshetra IAS Academy Blogs

  1. Indian Navy warship rescues 17 crew members of hijacked merchant vessel; 35 pirates surrender

In an end to the episode of the merchant vessel-turned-pirate vessel Ruen, the Indian Navy destroyer INS Kolkata through concerted actions successfully cornered and coerced all 35 pirates to surrender and ensured the safe evacuation of 17 crew members from the pirate vessel without any injury, the Navy said late on Saturday.

The ex-Malta flagged merchant vessel Ruen, which was hijacked on December 14 and taken to Somalian waters, was turned into a pirate vessel and was reported being used as a pirate ship.

The vessel was intercepted by INS Kolkata on March 14 when it was fired upon.

INS Kolkata had carried out the interception of the Pirate Ship Ruen almost 1,400 nm [2,600km] from the Indian Coast, and forced the pirate ship to stop through calibrated actions which were augmented by INS Subhadra, high altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicle, P-8I maritime patrol aircraft and MARCOS air-dropped by C-17 aircraft,” the Navy spokesperson said. “The vessel has also been sanitised for presence of illegal arms, ammunition, and contraband.” Earlier in the day, the spokesperson said that the vessel opened fire on the warship, which was “taking actions in accordance with international law with minimal force necessary to neutralise the pirates’ threat to shipping and seafarers”.

An important aspect pointed out by officials is that Ruen is no longer “Maltese flagged”.

It is in fact flying no flag, and is hence stateless and to be considered as “pirate ship Ex-Ruen”, officials said. Actions against the vessel, if any, are accordingly as per international law against pirate and stateless vessels, and in self defence as the vessel has committed hostilities against Indian Navy, one official noted.

Resurgent piracy

There has been a resurgence in piracy in the Horn of Africa coinciding with the volatile situation in the Red Sea with drone and missile attacks by Houthis on commercial shipping.

Earlier this week, a Bangladesh flagged merchant vessel MV Abdullah was hijacked by Somali pirates while it was enroute from Mozambique to the UAE.

2.Home Ministry bans several outfits in J&K under UAPA

Hours before the dates for the Lok Sabha election were announced, the Union Home Ministry on Saturday banned the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Freedom League and all factions of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League associated with the separatist conglomerate Hurriyat Conference under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The ban on the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), which is led by imprisoned terror accused Yasin Malik, has been extended by another five years.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah posted on X, “The Modi government has designated the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Freedom League (JKPFL) as an ‘unlawful association’ for five years. The organisation threatened India’s integrity by promoting, aiding and abetting the secession of Jammu and Kashmir through terrorism.”

JKPL factions

The Ministry declared four factions of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League – JKPL (Mukhtar Ahmed Waza), the JKPL (Bashir Ahmad Tota), the JKPL (Ghulam Mohammad Khan) and the Yaqoob Sheikh-led JKPL (Aziz Sheikh) – as “unlawful associations”.

These organisations were involved in inciting terror and abetting secessionism in Jammu and Kashmir and the government is committed to suppressing terrorism ruthlessly, the Minister said.

He stated that the JKLF continued to engage in activities that foment terror and secessionism in Jammu and Kashmir. Anyone found challenging the security, sovereignty and integrity of the nation would face harsh legal consequences, he warned.

In a notification, the Home Ministry said the JKPFL, chaired by Mohammad Farooq Shah, was indulging in unlawful activities prejudicial to the integrity, sovereignty and security of the country.

Members of the JKPFL have remained involved in supporting terrorist activities and anti-India propaganda to incite secessionism in Jammu and Kashmir, it said.

3.Kerala moves SC for stay on citizenship Act and its rules

The State of Kerala has moved an application in the Supreme Court seeking an injunction against the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 and the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024.

The State said the Centre took over five years to notify the Rules. This itself indicated that the Union government was in no hurry to implement the law which discriminated against Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh on the grounds of religion and country.

“The fact that the defendant (Union) itself has no urgency in the implementation of the 2019 Act is a sufficient cause for staying the 2024 Rules,” the State, which had earlier filed an original suit against the validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), argued.

Noting that the CAA was “arbitrary”, the State said the Rules was a “class legislation” that fast-tracked procedure for granting Indian citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian community members who entered into India on or before December 31, 2014 from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, or Pakistan. The effect of the implementation of the Act and the Rules would be “hostile discrimination”.

“Classifications based on religion and country are manifestly discriminatory… It is trite and settled law that a legislation discriminating on the basis of an intrinsic and core trait of an individual cannot form a reasonable classification based on an intelligible differentia,” the State contended.

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