Missing fishermen’s families to boycott polls

Missing fishermen’s families to boycott polls

In the backdrop of authorities failing to trace seven missing fishermen on board the Suvarna Tribhuja, the families of the fishermen have decided to boycott the Lok Sabha election.

Family members of Damodar Salian and Chandrashekar Kotian, two of the fishermen, said, “Already 87 days had passed and there had been no information about the missing fishermen. We have been living in fear and eagerly awaiting their arrival. The Central and state governments have failed to trace the fishermen. Hence, we have decided to stay away from exercising our franchise.”

Gangadhar Salian, brother of Damodar, accused both the governments of having failed to provide them justice. “They have neglected the fishing community,” he declared.

He said that they, along with Udupi MLA Raghupathi Bhat, had met Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman in Bengaluru recently. The minister had promised to make all efforts to trace the fishermen.

The family members suspected that there was some kind of cover-up on the matter. “The naval ship, INS Kochi, which was passing through the same area as ‘Suvarna Tribhuja’, was hit by something at its lower portion on December 15, 2018. Although authorities claimed that they had found rock on the sea bed, we cannot believe their argument. An attempt is being made to hide the truth,” they alleged.