Udupi: With no clue on the whereabouts of the seven fishermen aboard 'Suvarna Tribhuja'- a fishing boat, for the past 20 days, fishermen of the three coastal districts held a massive protest in Udupi and brought all fishing activity to a grinding halt on Sunday.
The rally was attended by over 40,000 fishermen who arrived in Udupi in buses and other vehicles from various parts of the three coastal districts. Fishermen leaders warned the union and state governments of consequences during the parliament election if they failed to find the fishermen.
The protest march wound its way for about 8 km from Malpe Harbour to Ambalpady bypass. The fishermen sat on the National Highway 66 at Ambalpady bypass and held the protest rally and meeting for about four hours.
The rally was attended by BJP and Congress leaders, including MP Shobha Karandlaje, MLAs Raghupathi Bhat, Bharath Shetty, Dinakar Shetty, Sunil Naik, Lalaji Mendon former MLAs Jayaprakash Hegde and U.R. Sabhapathy. They assured the fishermen that all steps would be taken to find those who had gone missing with Minister Jayamala receiving the memorandum submitted by the fishermen. Jayamala tried to pacify the fishermen saying the government treated farmers and fishermen on an equal footing.