Somalis spotted in Lakshadweep, three arrested

New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) Many Somali nationals were spotted in Lakshadweep islands Friday, a day after three of them were found in an unconscious state on Minicoy Island and arrested, an Indian Navy official said.

The official said more Somali nationals were detected Friday afternoon about 100 km south of Kavaratti Island of the Lakshadweep, and aircraft and ships of the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard have launched intense search operations to nab them.

On Thursday, a navy patrol in the Lakshadweep found three Somalis lying in an unconscious state on Minicoy Island after they swam ashore abandoning their boat.

‘The men were exhausted and dehydrated. They had managed to swim ashore after abandoning their boat. It is also learnt that a fourth man drowned,’ a navy spokesman said.

An abandoned boat was found in the Arabian sea near the island, he said. The three were taken to a hospital.

The spokesman said the navy, the Coast Guard and police combed the waters around the Lakshadweep Thursday evening after a suspicious boat was spotted around five km off Minicoy Island.

Minicoy is the southernmost Island of the Lakshwadeep.

‘Subsequently, three Somalian nationals were discovered….,’ the spokesman said.

They will be brought to Kochi in Kerala for interrogation to ascertain their identity after they regain their health, he said.