Kochi: A youth belonging to Kalamassery here is among those on board the British tanker Stena Impero which was seized by Iran at Strait of Hormuz for breaking ‘international maritime rules’ on Friday.
He is Dijo Pappachan, 26, son of T.V. Pappachan and Deena Pappachan residing near Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) campus at Kalamassery. His relatives received confirmation about the incident in the early hours of Saturday.
It is reported that two others from Thripuni-thura and Fort Kochi are also onboard. However, the information is yet to be verified as their families have not confirmed it.
Dijo had joined the shipping company and started as a Messman on June 12. According to the relatives, he boarded the chemical tanker which was birthed at Gujarat for unloading on July 18.
His relatives received a call from the shipping company’s Mumbai office regarding the incident. “We spoke with him on Friday morning. He told us that he will call again in the evening when his father comes home. But he didn’t call,” they said.
“We tried to contact him several times,” Dijo’s father Pappachan said.
Dijo’s elder sister Deepa is in London as part of her work and she is in contact with the company’s London office.
Minister of state for external affairs V. Muraleedharan said that no official confirmation had been received from Iran.
According to him, they are trying through all channels to get in touch with the authorities.
Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden visited Dijo’s home and promised proper action to ensure his safe return. He said he had contacted the Ministry of External Affairs but they were yet to receive any response from Iran. He also said that four Keralites were reportedly onboard the ship. But the government is yet to confirm this.