Madhwaraj demands judicial probe into wreckage find

Former minister Pramod Madhwaraj on Friday tweeted picture of a damaged warship INS Kochi.

Former minister Pramod Madhwaraj has demanded a judicial inquiry by a retired Supreme Court judge into the missing fishing boat Suvarna Tribhuja and the wreckage traced by the Navy personnel. 

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Madhwaraj accused the NDA government and the Udupi MLA of hushing up the issue until the end of elections and thereby misleading the families of missing fishermen.

He said that he had been insisting all through that Naval warship INS Kochi was responsible for the collision. “A fishing boat cannot capsize on its own. If there was a technical problem in the boat, the crew members had many opportunities to abandon the boat. They would have alerted the crew of other boats. Sadly no such activities were reported. The boat had capsized following the collision. INS Kochi is responsible for the murder of seven fishermen,” he alleged. 

He said that the NDA government knew the fact that INS Kochi was involved in the accident. However, the matter was kept as a secret following the Lok Sabha elections. He said; “There was no need for staging a search drama. MLA Raghupathy Bhat is playing politics over the dead bodies of the fishermen. It is a poll gimmick.”

The former minister added that chief minister had already spoken to the Fisheries minister on releasing compensation to the families of the missing fishermen. Madhwaraj said that at least Rs 10 lakh compensation should be released to the families of the fishermen.

‘Madhwaraj politicising issue’

Reacting to the allegation by Pramod Madhwaraj that INS Kochi ‘murdered’ fishermen, MLA Raghupathy Bhat said, “The former minister has lost his mind.  Madhwaraj should stop politicising the issue. He should come out with the proof that INS Kochi had ploughed into the fishing boat.”

He added that Pramod should be ashamed of himself for issuing such ridiculous statements, when the families of the fishermen are in distress. 

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