Delay in tracing missing fishermen: NH-66 blocked

Delay in tracing missing fishermen: NH-66 blocked

Fishing comes to a halt at Malpe harbour during the protest, on Sunday. dh photo

Thousands of fishermen from Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada districts staged a massive protest against the lackadaisical approach of both state and Central governments over the missing seven fishermen and blocked national highway-66 for three hours, on Sunday.

The seven fishermen had ventured into the sea on December 13 from Malpe and remained incommunicado since the midnight of December 15.

A huge protest rally was taken out from Malpe, in which around 15,000-odd fishermen gathered and reached Ambalapadi bypass to block the national highway. The fishermen raised slogans against the governments and accused the government of showing indifferent attitude towards the condition of the fishermen.

The national highway was blocked from Ambagilu to Balaipade Junction by the agitators. Fishing activity came to a halt in Mangaluru also.

MP Shobha Karandlaje said she was in constant touch with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and giving regular updates.

Fishermen’s leader Yashpal Suvarna said if a single farmer ends his life, the entire government machinery is at his doorsteps. Sadly, there is none to bother about the plight of fishermen. Industrialist
G Shankar gave four days’ ultimatum to the Central and state governments to bring back the missing fishermen. Receiving the memorandum from the fishermen, district incharge Minister Jayamala lauded the courageous fight of the fishermen for their livelihood.

She said the government had taken all measures to carry out search operations from the day the case was registered on December 22. The state government is constantly in touch with the central government, the minister said. However, a few fishermen shouted slogans against her. As many as 400 police personnel along with three KSRP platoons and six DAR platoons were deployed on the procession route. Superintendent of Police Lakshman Nimbargi himself monitored the situation.