Mumbai: Fishermen allege harassment by police



Mumbai: Fishermen on Sunday accused the police, Navy, Customs and ONGC officials of harassing them and filing false cases.

Talking to reporters here, Akhil Maharashtra Machhimar Kriti Samiti (AMMKS) President Damodar Tandel alleged that fake cases of trespassing into ONGC area have been registered against fishermen.

"We are not allowed to go into the 3km circumference of ONGC rig in the Arabian sea. Recently, Navy, which patrols the sea, confiscated our fishing-related documents and asked ONGC to take action against us. ONGC, in return, registered cases against the fishermen at the Yellow Gate police station," he said.

He said notices were also served on six fishermen and they were asked to pay fine.

The ONGC and police officials later released that fishermen had not violated any law. But since the ONGC had registered the case, they said it cannot be withdraw, Tandel said.

"Earlier, we were asked to pay Rs 1 lakh but we refused. Later the officials said we can get away by paying Rs 5,000 (as fine). But we refused to pay that as well, as it would mean we were culprits," he said.

Tandel said he has taken up the issue with Home Minister RR Patil, who has assured to look into the matter.

He said after the 26/11 terror attacks, the cases of harassment against the fishermen by coastal security agencies have increased.

PTI