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INSA, NUSI condemn pirates for not releasing hostages

Last Updated: Monday, April 18, 2011 - 21:13

Mumbai: Deploring the act of Somalian
pirates holding back seven Indian sailors despite full payment
of the ransom amount, various seafarers` unions and a local
shipowners` body on Monday demanded their immediate release.

"While acts of piracy and hijacking of vessels are
unacceptable, the action of holding back seven Indian
seafarers despite full payment of ransom money is extremely
concerning. We deplore the happenings," Indian National
Shipowners` Association (INSA) Chief Executive Officer, Anil
Devli, said in a statement here.

This action would also have ominous repercussions on the
global shipping community and will cause immense harm to
international trade, he said.

"It is a shameful act on the part of the pirates and has
brought dishonour to a negotiated agreement of payment of
ransom. This act of detaining the seafarers even after
receiving the full ransom amount has left a question mark on
the effectiveness of the other negotiations," National Union
of Seafarers of India (NUSI) general secretary, Abdulgani
Serang, said.

The International Transport Workers Federation, London,
along with the International Chamber of Shipping, London and
other key stakeholders have also condemned this act of the
pirates of going back on their words and have demanded the
release of the seafarers, Serang said.

The merchant ship Panama flag vessel "Asphalt Venture"
carrying 15 crew-members, all Indians, was hijacked by Somali
pirates on September 28, 2010. After negotiations with the
pirates, the company paid the ransom amount for the release of
the crew.

However, on April 15, they released only eight crew-
members including the captain of the vessel and seven ratings
and have held seven others (1 rating and 6 officers) captive.
Presently, there are more than 700 seafarers held
hostage by the pirates, the statement said.


Chennai: Tamil Nadu Congress Committee chief
K V Thangkabalu was arrested here on Monday for holding agitations
against the alleged killing of Tamil fishermen by the Sri
Lankan Navy.

The senior Congress leader was staging a protest along
with hundreds of party workers near Nageshwara Rao park in
Mylapore when he was arrested.

Four Tamil fishermen from Thangachimadam in Nagapattinam
district had gone missing on April 2. Their bodies were found
recently allegedly with bruises.

Local fishermen have alleged that their four colleagues
had been tortured to death by Sri Lankan naval personnel and
the bodies dumped one by one into the sea.

Fishermen in Rameswaram had yesterday demanded setting up
of an enquiry commission to probe the death and alleged
torture of these four fishermen.


First Published: Monday, April 18, 2011 - 21:13
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