Missing boat: Minister faces fishermen’s ire

Missing boat: Minister faces fishermen’s ire

 Fisheries Minister Venkatarao Nadagouda interacts with fishermen in Udupi on Wednesday.

Fisheries Minister Venkatarao Nadagouda had to face the wrath of fishermen and fisherwomen while visiting the families of missing fishermen at Badanidiyur near Malpe on Wednesday.

The fisherwomen gheraoed the minister and accused the state government of delaying the search operation.

“The minister is visiting nearly 24 days after the fishermen went missing. He should have suffered such a tragedy in order to understand the intensity of the pain that family members are experiencing,” they said.

The minister attempted to pacify the fishermen by highlighting the compensation package, announced by the government. The fishermen, however, rejected the proposal and sought to know the whereabouts of the fishermen.

“We would beg for a livelihood but will not allow the family to accept the compensation,” they declared.

Nadagouda assured the fishermen families that the state government had not given up hope and that the search operations would end with the missing fishermen being traced.

Nadagouda, after meeting the families of missing fishermen Chandrashekar and Damodar Salian at Badanidiyur near Malpe, said that chief minister had declared an interim compensation of Rs one lakh each for the seven families.

The minister said that no attempt so far to search the missing fishermen had yielding any results. Thus police had sought the help of ISRO to access satellite images in order to trace the missing boat. He said the government was open to suggestions on tracing the missing fishermen. “Entire government machinery is involved in the search operations. A few clues about the missing fishermen will be revealed at the appropriate moment.”

Chandrashekar’s wife was inconsolable when the minister initiated conversation with her. He promised to bring her husband alive. Gauri, a relative one of the missing fishermen, said the families were finding it hard to adjust to the circumstances. They are not only suffering but are also spending days with the hope of seeing Chandrashekhar alive.

The fishermen suspected the involvement of fishermen from Maharashtra and Goa in the missing fishing boat case. They feared that the seven fishermen have been kidnapped.
The minister, allaying apprehensions, said the investigations were being carried out from all angles.

Pramod, brother of Damodar Salian, expressed his anger over the delay in searching his brother.

“The state government should seek help from the Central government. High-level search operations used during emergencies like terror attacks should be used to search my brother and other fishermen,” he said.

The fisheries minister said the issue of the missing fishermen will be raised during Cabinet meeting scheduled to be held on Thursday. The minister after chairing a meeting said the chief minister, home minister and other ministers will discuss the issue and take a decision.

He added that fishermen were demanding intense search operation on Maharashtra and Goa coast.

He said necessary action would be taken after discussing the issue with respective governments.