Udupi: It is over two months since seven fishermen ventured into the sea in their boat but their whereabouts still remain unknown!
With the authorities failing to unravel the mystery behind the missing boat and fishermen, community leaders are planning to stage a protest before the chief minister's residence and in front of the naval base in Karwar. The fishermen had started off on their fishing boat Suvana Tribhuja from Malpe Fishing Harbour on December 13. The boat lost contact off the Goa coast on December 15 and since then, they are missing.
Though a search operation was conducted by several agencies including the Coast Guard, Navy and the police, the whereabouts of the fishermen is unclear. As there is still no clarity on what happened to the fishermen, the fishermen leaders are thinking of gheraoing INS Kadamba and also protest in front of the CM's residence. The final decision would be taken after a meeting. "For the first few days we suspected our fishermen might have been kidnapped. However later, the authorities said that the Navy Ship INS Kochi which was on the same path, was hit by something due to which it suffered damage in its lower portion.
It was suspected that the fishing boat might have been hit by the navy ship due to which the ship was damaged. Officials also said that there a 22 metre long 'thing' at the bottom of the sea in the spot and it was suspected that it might be the debris of the fishing boat. But now they deny that it is debris and instead have concluded it is a big stone," Malpe Fishermen Association president Sathish Kunder told DC after speaking to the Superintendent of Police. “The date, time and location of the fishing boat going missing and INS Kochi getting damaged match.
If it was not the boat that damaged the navy ship, then what was it? Was the ship damaged just when it went into the water? We feel officials are hiding something. We believe that the boat was hit by the ship. Government should form a panel to look into the incident and get an answer,” he suggested....