Thiruvananthapuram: Defence Minister A.K. Antony Tuesday asked government agencies to evolve regulations against private armed guards on merchant ships, following two incidents involving such people on the Indian coastline.
In the first case, Italian Marines allegedly shot dead Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala while in the second case, a floating armoury ship was apprehended by the Coast Guard near Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu.
"Antony asked government agencies to take up the issue of private armed security guards on-board commercial ships, at international fora such as International Maritime Organisation," a defence ministry release said here.
Addressing a meeting to review coastal security, the minister said the issue has assumed significance in the backdrop of the two incidents.
"He directed that the ministry of home and the ministry of shipping should come out with a plan of action and regulations on the issue at the earliest. The effort would lead to better regulation on the issue of floating armouries carrying private armed guards and weapons in our maritime zones," the release said.