‘Hopes of seeing my brother alive shattered’

MLA Raghupathi Bhat speaks at a press conference.

Nithyananda Kotian, brother of Chandrashekar Kotian who is one among the missing seven fishermen, on Friday said that the hopes of seeing his brother return alive shattered after he was shown the pictures and the videos of damaged Suvarna Tribhuja boat.

Nithyananda was part of the search team which had ventured into the sea in search of the missing fishermen. “I had a faint hope of seeing my brother somewhere till I went in search of the missing fishermen. But all my hopes are shattered now,” he said told reporters with an agonising sigh.

“We looked for the traces of the boat at 16 critical locations. We were able to discover the remains of the damaged boat at the end of the 15th location. The photographs are sufficient proofs to show that the fishermen, including my brother who was in the boat, are not alive,” he said.

Nithyananda said if they are alive, they would have returned to their houses.

Demanding compensation for the family, he said, “My brother’s family has a lot of financial problems. My brother had borrowed Rs 45 lakh for the boat. The compensation should be paid to help them lead a normal life. There is no other source of livelihood for my brother’s family.” 

MLA’s demand

Meanwhile, MLA Raghupathy Bhat sought a compensation of Rs 6 lakh from the state government to the missing fishermen’s family.

“The Central government should pay Rs 2 lakh as compensation to the families of the fishermen who have lost their lives. The families of the missing fishermen are very poor,” he said.

He said an appeal will also be made to extract the wreckage of the damaged boat. The bodies of the missing fishermen were not found as the wreckage had covered the upper layer beneath the net, he said.

Bhat said he and the fishermen do not hold the Navy responsible for the tragedy. “Yet, we are highly suspicious that some collision might have taken place in the high seas,” he added. 

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