State seeks Centre’s help in tracing fishermen

State seeks Centre’s help in tracing fishermen

The state government has sought Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s help in the search for eight fishermen missing for nearly a month now.

The fishermen were aboard a boat named ‘Suvarna Tribhuja’ that went missing on December 13.

Karnataka has requested the Centre to expedite the search operation by deploying reconnaissance aircraft in the high seas and “in any other manner to trace the missing fishermen,” Revenue Minister R V Deshpande wrote in a letter to Singh.

The state has initiated a massive search operating involving the Coastal Security Police and local administration and “all efforts are being made by the state government in order to locate and rescue missing fishermen,” Deshpande wrote.

“In the high seas, local Coast Guard station and Indian Navy have efficient mechanism to locate and to conduct rescue operations. The state government has requested their services and they have also responded necessary assistance (sic),” Deshpande wrote, requesting Singh to intervene and direct the authorities concerned to expedite the search operations.

Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Venkatrao Nadagouda said on Wednesday that assistance of Isro would be taken in tracing the fishermen who went missing from Malpe in Udupi district. He was speaking to reporters after visiting the house of Eshwar Haritantra, one of the missing fishermen, at Madanagere in Kumta taluk of Uttara Kannada district.

The minister said all efforts were being made to trace the fishermen. Nadagouda said the state government had written to the governments of Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat to help in locating the fishermen.

Help had been sought from Google and other satellite agencies. The state government had also written to the Centre, seeking permission to utilise the services of the Navy in finding the fishermen.

Nadagouda ruled out the chances of the boat in question having entered the Pakistan seas as it did not have enough fuel. The minister said it could also be a case of the fishermen being kidnapped by those from the neighbouring states. The government was confident that the fishermen were alive, he said, adding that they would be traced soon.

The minister also visited the families of five other fishermen in the taluks of Kumta, Honnavar and Bhatkal. He announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each to the families of the missing fishermen.