Missing fishermen: NHRC notice to K’taka, Def Min

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday sought reports from Karnataka government and Ministry of Defence following reports that Indian Navy has stopped search operation to find seven missing fishermen after locating the wreckage of the boat they were sailing.

The Defence Secretary and Karnataka Chief Secretary have been asked to submit their reports within six weeks.

Seven fishermen on Suvarna Thribhuja from Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts are still missing after they set off for a deep sea fishing expedition from Malpe harbour on Dec 15, 2018.

Quoting a media report, the NHRC said the Indian Navy stopped the search operation after finding the wreckage of the vessel 33 km west-south-west off the coast of Malvan in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra.

The NHRC has observed that the disappearance of seven fishermen is a "serious concern" as all of them are earning members of the family.

"The reckless attitude of public officials and government agencies with regard to whereabouts of the missing fishermen has aggravated the cause of concern of the family members of the missing fishermen. The family members of the missing fishermen also have the legitimate expectation from the government agencies to make proper search to find out the missing fishermen which according to the news report did not happen," the NHRC said.

The Commission said the contents of the media report, referred to the NHRC by Human Rights Forum general secretary Adarsh G K "exemplifies the unabated failure" to take timely action by the public authorities to find out the missing fisherman.

The remnants of the fishing vessel was found by INS Nireekshak, a diving support vessel, through side scan sonar operations.

The missing men were Chandrashekar, owner of the boat, Damodar, Lakshman, Sathish, Ravi, Harish and Ramesh. The search team found three canisters from the sea in the month of December and thereafter there was no further trace of the ship, the NHRC said.

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