Indian sailor Sunil James released in Togo, family thanks PM

The family of Sunil James thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after the Indian merchant ship captain`s release from Togo jail.

Last Updated: Dec 19, 2013, 11:33 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: The family of Sunil James on Thursday thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after the Indian merchant ship captain`s release from Togo jail.

The sailor`s wife, Aditi, and other family members had requested the Indian government to intervene so that James could be released.

After the news of his release came, Aditi said: "It has been a very tough fight. But I am happy that finally it has come to an end. I am satisfied with the efforts that the government has put in."

"After we met the Prime Minister, things have actually fast-tracked for us. The PMO put in best efforts to get him out. We are thankful to them," she added.

Meanwhile, James` brother-in-law, Rakesh Madappa said the family was relieved, but it was not the occassion to celebrate. James has to perform last rites of his son once he is back, said Madappa.

James was under arrest in the west African country of Togo since July.

He has been released along with another Indian sailor, the External Affairs Ministry announced on Thursday morning.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin tweeted: "After meet between India`s High Commissoner in Accra and President Gnassingbe of Togo, Captain Sunil James and Vijayan released. Now with High Commissioner K. Jeeva Sagar."

The two Indian sailors are to leave for India later today, he posted.

James` family had been seeking his release so that he could return home for the last rites of his 11-month-old son Vivaan who died on December 02 of septicaemia in a Mumbai hospital.

James had stopped at Togo to report an attack on his ship MT Ocean Centurion by pirates when he was arrested on July 31, along with two other crew members, for allegedly aiding the pirates.

(With Agency inputs)