New Delhi: The Somali Government has asked India to return the 43 pirates who were arrested off the Lakshwadeep coast in two separate operations recently, so that they can be put on trial in their country, police said.
Somalia's demand came in response to an Indian request for an interpreter from the Somali embassy for conducting investigations.
In the past cases of a similar nature, India has never handed over the pirates to Somalia. Investigation is on and sources say a chargesheet is likely to be filed against the pirates soon.
The Somali government has asked India to hand over the 43 pirates, arrested off the coast of Lakshadweep during two separate operations recently, so that they can be put on trial in their country, police said.
In a response to the request by the police to arrange an interpreter for interrogation of the alleged pirates, the Somalian embassy has written a letter to Indian authorities, asking to hand over the accused, said Quaiser Khalid, Deputy Police Commissioner (Port Zone).
"We already have two translators here to help us with the investigation. But to be on a safer side, we also requested the Somali embassy to arrange a translator. However, yesterday we received a letter in which the embassy requested us to hand over the accused, so that they could be tried there (Somalia)," Khalid said.
"Earlier also pirates had been arrested and tried in Indian courts. Handing them over is not possible," Khalid added.
In two separate operations undertaken on January 29 and February 6, the Navy and Coast Guard caught 43 Somalian pirates off the coast of Lakshadweep, who were later taken into custody by city's Yellow Gate police station.
Police on Saturday conducted identification parade of the accused.
The investigation is in progress and police would file the chargesheet within the stipulated period, Khalid said.