A Panamanian ship docked safely at Calcutta on Friday, a day after it was hijacked near the port by an armed group, officials said. The ship, named Jubilee, with 23 people aboard, was carrying 4,482 tons of logs from Rangoon to Calcutta when a group of more than 200 people in boats forced it to stop 70 km (44 miles) short of Calcutta port on Thursday afternoon.
"They were local miscreants who wanted the ship to unload its cargo on the riverside
so that local people got employment," Calcutta Port Trust spokesman B.K. Sahu said. The deputy marine director of the Calcutta Port Trust, T.K. Das Chaudhury, said "more than 200 people boarded the ship and took away the captain yesterday (Thursday)".
Port officials said the hijacking ended after police rescued the captain and brought the vessel to Calcutta port, a river port about 120 km (75 miles) from the Bay of Bengal.
Officials gave no details of the rescue. "We have not heard of such an incident in the last 130 years since this port has been operational," Das Chaudhury said. The captain of a pilot vessel sent by the port to guide the ship in was also kidnapped but later rescued. Sahu said 60 people had been arrested. He gave no other details.